London: Strong relationships with other family members can help raise self-esteem and reduce anxiety in young children at homes where parental domestic violence exists, says a study.
“Given the secrecy that surrounds domestic violence, it is important that parents, the extended family and service providers understand the protective effects that strong family bonds can have,” said Catherine Naughton from the University of Limerick in Ireland.
“This way, they can encourage young people affected to maintain the inherent sense of belonging within the extended family which, ultimately, can provide positive psychological support,” Naughton added.
The study involved 465 young people aged between 17 and 25 years. They completed an online survey which asked about their experiences of parental/caregivers’ domestic violence, family bonds and psychological well-being.
Analysis showed that exposure to parental/caregivers’ domestic violence was associated with reduced self-esteem, increased anxiety and weaker family bonds in young adults when compared to those who grew up in non-affected homes.
However, the presence of strong family bonds did have a buffering effect in that, despite growing up in a home affected by domestic violence, some young adults who described strong family bonds also showed increased self-esteem and reduced anxiety.
This buffering effect of family bonds was seen when the domestic violence between their parents/caregivers was reported as either physical or psychological violence.
The findings were presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Windsor.
Several hundred children, held in a U.S. border detention facility in Texas after entering the country without authorization, will be sheltered elsewhere, following a media report last week that described unsanitary living conditions and inadequate food and medical treatment at the facility.
The Associated Press reported Monday that authorities moved “more than 300 ” out of a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, following a June 20 story by the news agency.
Lawyers who visited the remote station said that older children were caring for other children, sanitation conditions were substandard, and children were sick, living in soiled clothes and being given rotten food, according to the AP.
VOA requested comment from the two government agencies involved in housing children who cross the border without authorization, or without a guardian — U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, within the Department of Health and Human Services. Neither office responded as of Monday afternoon.
A June report by the Office of the Inspector General, the internal watchdog at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, found cleanliness and sanitation problems during an inspection of four detention facilities.
Asked about the allegations of poor standards for detained children, U.S. President Donald Trump did not address the AP report in a TV interview aired on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” show.Instead, he laid responsibility — erroneously — on his predecessor, President Barack Obama, for the creation of what became known under Trump as the “family separation” policy.
As researchers from the Bipartisan Policy Center explained in a 2018 report, previous administrations relied more heavily on family detention facilities or alternatives to detention, like the use of monitoring devices.
Parents and children were separated under Obama in limited circumstances, such as cases where child trafficking was suspected.
It was under the Trump administration, however, that then-Attorney General Jeff Session announced a blanket zero tolerance policy to detain all migrants who crossed the border without authorization.
That policy, though short-lived, led to thousands of adults and children being held in separate facilities. The public backlash and lawsuits led the administration to rescind the policy.
In a separate interview Sunday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged that the conditions in the facilities as reported by AP were unacceptable, he shifted the blame to Democrats in Congress.
Meanwhile, authorities said Monday that three children and one adult found dead in South Texas near the border with Mexico probably died of dehydration and heat exposure after crossing the Rio Grande into this country, AP reported.
An increase in the detention of families with young children and children traveling without guardians has left U.S.officials scrambling to meet the shelter demands on the border.
At one point in recent months, CBP solicited bids to purchase thousands of baby bottles and diapers for detainees at the border.
From Oct. 1, 2018 – the start of the fiscal year – through May 31, CBP has detained 332,981 families and 56,278 unaccompanied children at the border, according to agency data.