Child abuse rises on the day after school report cards are issued – but only if children get grades on a Friday does a study in Florida suggest.
The curious discovery of frightened investigators who suspected abuses might go up despite this On this day, the children got their grades.
But their study of reporting to a child abuse hotline that included broken bones, burns, and other confirmed abuses was different. An increase occurred only on Saturdays after a report card on Friday. Although overall rates were low, there were nearly four times more cases on these Saturdays than on other Saturdays. On other days of the week, there was no apparent link between testimonies and abuse.
"Anecdotally we know that many parents will beat up their children or use physical punishment if they are dissatisfied with their homework," said psychologist Melissa Bright, the principal author.
The punishment can be abusive if children have no school the next day and parents believe that injuries would tend to go unnoticed, the researchers said, noting that teachers are required to report allegations of child abuse. Or it could be that heavy punishment on weekdays is less likely if parents are too busy concentrating on the report cards, Bright said.
However, she acknowledged that these theories are speculations and that the results are not proofs.
The study was published on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.
In most of Florida's 67 counties during the 201
According to a Friday's report card, on Saturdays, on average, just over 0.6 cases of abuse per 100,000 children were slightly less than 0.2 cases per 100,000 children on other Saturdays. The average was less than a day because so many days were included in the analysis. But in a state like Florida with a school-age population of just over 3 million children, this could be 19 cases of ID card misuse, compared to 5 other Saturdays, the researchers said.
External experts noted a study, including no evidence that abused children were given bad grades and no information about when parents learned about their grades. However, they said the study was useful to emphasize that child abuse and physical punishment are still too common, although rates have been falling since the 1990s. The rates were 9 per 1,000 children in the US compared to 13 per 1,000 in 1990.
Dr. Robert Sege, a Boston pediatrician and professor of medicine at Tufts University, said bad marks should be a time when parents should find out what is causing their children's problems. "There's no room for corporal punishment for school failure because it does not work and misses the point."
Sege is the lead author of a recent update of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending against physical punishment and corporal punishment. [19659002AstudyreleasededitorialsaidthattheUnitedStatesearneda"C-minus""effectivedisciplinestrategies"
Changing a report card work day can reduce abuse, the editorial said, "but the bigger problem is not resolved: it's still socially acceptable to hit a child, to correct his behavior. "