Exploring the relationship between poverty, childhood adversity and child abuse from the perspective of adulthood

John William Frederick, Christopher Rex Goddard

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    22 Citations (Scopus)


    A recent Australian study of people experiencing poverty, involving in-depth interviews with 20 participants, suggests that a complex process leading to poverty in adult life can stem from abusive and adverse experiences in childhood. It is considered that these experiences of abuse and adversity may begin a process of negative chain effects (Rutter, 2000) resulting in a pathway into poverty caused by accumulated adversity (Seth-Purdie, 2000). The development and maintenance of human capital, defined as the sum of a person s physical, psychological and economic capabilities, are strongly influenced by the extent of adversity experienced over a person s life course, particularly experiences of adversity in early childhood (Seth-Purdie, 2000). In this paper, the experiences of childhood abuse and adversity reported by the interviewees will be outlined and discussed in the light of theory and research related to development during childhood and adolescence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)323 - 341
    Number of pages19
    JournalChild Abuse Review
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

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