Longevity and fertility decline as noticeably seen from Demographic Transition Theory accompanied with changed socio-economic, cultural and values have dramatically transformed the image of Thai family; however, it seems to be more vulnerable. In the past decade, family violence has increased (Department of Women's Affairs and Family Development, 2017) and has become one of the major concerns, as a high prevalence rate of 34.6 percent in 2017 (Domestic Violence Knowledge Management Centre, 2017). Divorce rates has doubled from 23% in 2004 to 41% in 2018 (The Bureau of Registration Administration, 2018). All of these definitely undermine the stability of family institution. Children become one of the most vulnerable people affected by family violence. According to Thai traditional values, family violence has regularly been treated as one of required disciplines towards family members (National Statistical Office and United Nations Children's Fund, 2016). The platitude of “Ruk woa hai puk, Ruk luk hai tee” in Thai which means “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is usually mentioned in child discipline by punishment. Approximately 8.6 percent of Thai couples, either husband or wife, reportedly agree with physical abuse from husbands if their counterparts neglect their children, ignore the housework, or refuse sexual relationships. Witnessing family violence has evidently adverse impact upon children in both short and long term. Additionally, intergenerational conflict in skipped-generation family and parent-child relationship are highlighted when rising parental migration and divorce rate are commonly found. Therefore, mental health problems in childhood are increasingly major concerns and need for the urgent study. The purpose of this seminar is to propose my conceptual framework about the effect of family structure on child mental health when family violence is considered as a mediator. Family functioning, existing vulnerability, and their impacts on children’s mental health, including emotional and behavioral problems, are also mentioned.
August 26, 2020