Study methods followed the principles of grounded theory approaches. Data were drawn from research interviews and child abuse assessment interviews with thirteen children referred to the child protection services because of suspected child sexual abuse. During analysis the core concept of Interactive Regulated Participation was constructed on the basis of the following main categories developed from the children’s narratives: conversations on suspicion, receiving information, contributing in decision-making, sharing feelings and thoughts, and engaging in conversations on meaning-making. These categories help us understand the difficult situation children find themselves in when a suspicion of child sexual abuse is raised, and help us explore and support child–parent interaction in this specific situation. Attention to variations in child–parent interaction may help professionals and parents to focus on children’s opportunities to talk about possible abuse as well as on the children’s situation in the midst of child sexual abuse allegations.
This article presents the findings of a study on child–parent interaction during suspicion of child sexual abuse as seen from the children’s point of view.
Researcher/ Associate professor, University of Osl / Ph.D. Psychology