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“It’s Just the Abuse that Needs to Stop”: Professional Framing of Sibling Relationships in a Grounded Theory Study of Social Worker Decision Making following Sibling Sexual Behavior

Fiche mise à jour le 22 mars 2020

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Auteurs : Peter Yates
Numéros : vol. 29, nº 2
Date de publication : 18 décembre 2019
Etendue : 24 p.
Liens internet : DOI


Présentation de l'éditeur :

Sibling abuse is a global problem, arguably the most prevalent form of family violence, and as harmful as other familial abuse. There is evidence internationally that sibling abuse often goes unrecognized or is minimized by professionals from education, health and social care. The responses of social workers are of particular interest as key decision makers in child welfare, yet research has focused on concerns about parental abuse rather than risks presented by children within a family. This paper presents findings from research examining social worker decision-making in cases involving sibling sexual behavior. Interviews were conducted across six Scottish local authorities with twenty-one social workers having responsibility for such cases. Forty-five hours of in-depth interviews regarding 21 families and 54 children involved in sibling sexual behavior were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using constructivist grounded theory. The study found that social workers frame sibling relationships as non-abusive and of intrinsic value, and when faced with contradictory evidence engage in a number of mechanisms to maintain this frame. This paper makes a significant contribution to the sociology of siblinghood and provides an explanation that is more profound than existing theories for the internationally recognized problem of the marginalization of sibling abuse.

Sommaire :

  • The marginalization of sibling violence
  • Social worker responses to sibling abuse
  • Sociology of sibling relationships
  • Method
  • Ethics and funding
  • Trustworthiness
  • Sampling
  • Interviews
  • The cases
  • Data analysis
  • Results
  • Sibling behaviors as non-abusive
  • Differentiating normal from concerning sibling sexual behavior
  • Doubting what happened and resisting labeling the behavior as abuse
  • Looking for reasons
  • Requiring a second incident
  • Focusing on safety
  • Making rules
  • Separation is not a long-term solution
  • Challenging the perspective of sibling relationships as non-abusive and of intrinsic value
  • Discussion
  • Limitations
  • Conclusions and implications for practice

Mots clés SantéPsy :

Relation fraternelle, Violence familiale, Travailleur social, Comportement sexuel, Agression sexuelle intrafamiliale, Inceste fraternel, Pratique professionnelle, Repérage, Recherche, Décision, Représentation sociale, Sociologie, Fratrie, Maltraitance, Cas clinique, Victime mineure, Agresseur mineur

Mots clés libres :

Violence fraternelle

Lieux :



Langue : anglais
Format : bibliographie, graphiques, tables
Numéro de fiche : 192
Type de fiche : Article de périodique
Création : 16/01/2020
Dernière modification : 22/03/2020
Statut : Publié