What prevents Chinese parents from reporting possible cases of child sexual abuse to authority? A holistic-interactionistic approach

Qian Wen Xie, Xiaoyue Sun, Mengtong Chen, Dong Ping Qiao, Ko Ling Edward Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The current study seeks to explore parents’ intentions of reporting their own children's CSA experiences to authorities as well as their reporting willingness when they become aware of possible CSA cases happening to children in other families. Two rounds of semi-structured interviews were conducted among a sample of 26 parents in Beijing; these parents were purposefully selected so as to be diverse in terms of gender, age, and socioeconomic status. The data were analyzed thematically. The findings showed that the reporting of suspected CSA to authorities was a choice made by only a few Chinese parents; it was often even a last resort. By using a holistic-interactionistic approach, the interaction between Chinese parents’ intentions of reporting CSA and the Chinese socio-cultural context was analyzed as a dynamic and continuously ongoing process. The impacts of the definition and perceptions of CSA on reporting, the balance of children's rights and parents’ power, and the double effect of informal social control are discussed. The implications, both locally and globally, are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Chinese socio-cultural context
  • Holistic interactionism
  • Qualitative method
  • Reporting intentions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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