Silence and violence: representations of child to parent abuse in New South Wales and Japanese education policy
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 18:20 authored by Brook Armstrong
Child to Parent Abuse (CPA) has been identified as a growing problem within New South Wales (NSW). However, this concern has yet to be reflected in policy or institutional responses. Research into CPA has been heavily contested and subject to competing interpretations which may have contributed to government and institutional inaction. This thesis aims to understand how CPA is represented within educational policy and the implications of these representations for children and families who experience CPA. As a response to the lack of explicit policy regarding CPA, the thesis develop s an alternative policy framework for CPA. The thesis focuses on educational policy because, although CPA is rarely represented as an 'educational problem' there is evidence that CPA is related to problems experienced at, or because of, school. The education system may, therefore, be a site for effective intervention in responding to situations of CPA. This thesis applies the What's the Problem Represented to be? (WPR) poststructural policy analysis approach, developed by Carol Bacchi, and comparatively explores representations of CPA in NSW and Japanese educational policy. The research was con ducted in four stages. Stage one examined the representation of CPA within academic research. Six different representations of the 'problem' of CPA are identified through this analysis: 'family violence', 'child welfare', 'criminal justice' 'medical', 'educational' and finally 'child wellbeing'. Stage two identifies the representations of CPA in NSW educational policies. It finds that CPA is represented through its absence in educational policy, and that this Page 5 of 131 representation constitutes CPA as either a 'responsibility' or 'disability' problem. Stage three compares these findings with representation of CPA in Japanese educational policy. Three key problem constructions are identified that characterise Japanese policy representations of CPA: the hyper-visibility and invisibility of CPA, constructing CPA as "a product of love" and erasing the individual in CPA. Drawing upon the analysis of the NSW and Japanese approaches the thesis culminates in developing principles that could be used to develop a for a new policy framework for CPA that recognises both its complex relationship with other issues, and the ways in which it is unique. Four principles are developed to inform future CPA policy - that CPA policy must be visible, non-judgemental, integrated, and strengths-based and family-centred.