Publications

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    ABSTRACT: The paper presents a protocol for ‘A randomized controlled trial of functional family therapy (FFT): an Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) partnership between Croydon Council and Queen's University Belfast’. The protocol describes a trial that uses FFT as an alternative intervention to current use of the youth justice system and local authority care with the aim of reducing crime/recidivism in young people referred to Croydon Council. The trial will take place over a period of 36 months and will involve up to 154 families. Croydon Council will employ a team of five Functional Family Therapists who will work with families to promote effective outcomes. The Centre for Effective Education at Queen's University Belfast will act as independent evaluators of outcomes for families and young people. The work is supported from the United Kingdom Economic & Social Research Council/Early Intervention Foundation Grant Number ES/M006921/1
    International Journal of Educational Research 12/2015; 70. · 0.51 Impact Factor
  • Anne Lazenbatt
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    ABSTRACT: This book also aims to increase our understanding of how we identify these risks to children and families before it is too late; to assess the impacts of these risks upon children and families; to highlight the learning we have gained from evidence based practice and research; and to view the current landscape of service delivery in relation to child abuse within ‘high risk families’. There are overwhelming moral, ethical, economic and ecological reasons why this topic should be of paramount concern. The scale of the problem alone suggests that families living in high risk situations that lead to child maltreatment are displaying significant issues within all four countries of the UK1. The costs, both direct [e.g. medical care] and indirect [e.g. criminal justice] of addressing these consequences are enormous(Browne et al. 2007). In Europe only the UK has attempted to calculate the total economic burden of maltreatment. In 1996 this was estimated at £735 million(National Commission of Inquiry into the Prevention of Child Abuse 1996).
    High Risk Families and child abuse, Dunedin Press: Scotland (in press (October 2014) edited by Julie taylor and Anne Lazenbatt, 10/2014; Dunedin Press.
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    ABSTRACT: This article considers the trajectory and effectiveness of policy, procedures and practice in the UK since the early 1990s in responding to young people who display problematic and harmful sexual behaviours. It draws on data from three publications in which research, policy and practice in the last 20 years have been reviewed. Key themes raised by Masson and Hackett are revisited including: denial and minimisation; terminology and categorisation; similarities with other young offenders; the child protection and youth justice systems; and assessment and interventions. The authors find that there is improvement in recognition of, and practice in response to, this group of young people, but good practice standards are inconsistently applied. With devolution of political powers, Scotland and Northern Ireland are now embarking on a more strategic response than England. The absence of a public debate and prioritising of primary prevention of child sexual abuse is noted.
    Journal of Sexual Aggression 09/2014; 20(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Although disabled women are significantly more likely to experience domestic abuse during pregnancy than non-disabled women, very little is known about how maternity care access and utilisation is affected by the co-existence of disability and domestic abuse. This systematic review of the literature explored how domestic abuse impacts upon disabled women's access to maternity services.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 07/2014; 14(1):234. · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • Anne Lazenbatt,  Devaney, J. Bunting, Davidson, Hayes, Lazenbatt, A. Spratt
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    ABSTRACT: Suicide is a multi-faceted phenomenon involving the interaction between biological, psychological, sociological, environmental and cultural factors. Suicide in adolescents has been identified as a serious public health problem worldwide. However, although adolescent suicide remains a well-researched area it still remains a poorly understood phenomenon. There has been some research which considers self-harm and suicide among children and young people in Northern Ireland but there are major gaps in the available knowledge and research on how children and young people are positioned in relation to self-harm and suicide. Prevention of suicidal behaviour is often difficult, and poses a major challenge given the relative rarity of the event. Effective prevention therefore requires sound knowledge of the key risk factors with the main target of effective prevention of youth suicides being to reduce suicide risk factors with one of the most significant being the exposure to and experience of adversity in childhood.
    ISPCAN Dublin, Dublin; 08/2013
  • Anne Lazenbatt, Julie Taylor
    Child Care in Practice 07/2013; 19(3).
  • Anne Lazenbatt,  Smith, C. Allardyce, Bradbury-Jones, Lazenbatt, Taylor
    IPSCAN, Dublin; 07/2013
  • Anne Lazenbatt, Lisa Bunting
    NSPCC Conference, Glasgow; 04/2013
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    Anne Lazenbatt, John Devaney, Aideen Gildea
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    ABSTRACT: Although domestic violence is seen as a serious public health issue for women worldwide, international evidence suggests that women aged over 50 who are victims are suffering in silence because the problem is often ignored by health professionals. More U.K. research is needed to identify the extent of the problem, and services to meet the needs of older women. This study aims to bridge this gap by gaining a deeper understanding of how 'older women' cope with domestic violence and how it affects their wellbeing. Eighteen older women who were currently, or had been in an abusive relationship were recruited. Semi-structured interview schedules were used to discuss the personal nature of DV and its effects on wellbeing, ways of coping and sources of support. Findings suggest that living in a domestically violent context has extremely negative effects on older women's wellbeing leading to severe anxiety and depression. Three-quarters of the women defined themselves as in 'very poor' mental and physical health and were using pathogenic coping mechanisms, such as excessive and long-term use of alcohol, prescription and non-prescription drugs and cigarettes. This negative coping increased the likelihood of these women experiencing addiction to drugs and alcohol dependence and endangered their health in the longer term. Our findings suggest that health professionals must receive appropriate education to gain knowledge and skills in order to deal effectively and support older women experiencing domestic violence.
    Community practitioner: the journal of the Community Practitioners' & Health Visitors' Association 02/2013; 86(2):28-32.
  • Anne Lazenbatt
    Evidence-based nursing 01/2013;
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    John Devaney, Lisa Bunting, Hayes Dr, Anne Lazenbatt
    01/2013; Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
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    Anne Lazenbatt
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    ABSTRACT: Although child maltreatment due to abuse or neglect is pervasive within our society, less is known about fabricated or induced illness by carers (FII), which is considered to be a rare form of child abuse. FII occurs when a caregiver (in 93% of cases, the mother) misrepresents the child as ill either by fabricating, or much more rarely, producing symptoms and then presenting the child for medical care, disclaiming knowledge of the cause of the problem. The growing body of literature on FII reflects the lack of clarity amongst professionals as to what constitutes FII, the difficulties involved in diagnosis, and the lack of research into psychotherapeutic intervention with perpetrators. This lack of clarity further complicates the identification, management and treatment of children suffering from FII and may result in many cases going undetected, with potentially life-threatening consequences for children. It has been suggested that there is a national under-reporting of fabricated or induced illness. In practice these cases are encountered more frequently due to the chronic nature of the presentations, the large number of professionals who may be involved and the broad spectrum including milder cases that may not all require a formal child protection response. Diagnosis of fabricated disease can be especially difficult, because the reported signs and symptoms cannot be confirmed (when they are being exaggerated or imagined) or may be inconsistent (when they are induced or fabricated). This paper highlights and discusses the controversies and complexities of this condition, the risks to the child and how it affects children; the paucity of systematic research regarding what motivates mothers to harm their children by means of illness falsification; how the condition should be managed and treated for both mother and child; and implications for policy and practice.
    Child Care in Practice 01/2013; 19(1).
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    11/2012; Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People.
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    Nahla Mansour Al-Ali, Anne Lazenbatt
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the cross-cultural differences in the knowledge, definitions, and current training and educational experiences of domestic violence (DV) among third-year undergraduate nursing, dental, and medical students from two distinct universities in Northern Ireland and Jordan. A convenience sample of 774 undergraduate students was recruited. Analysis was based on gender, culture, and educational speciality, as seen through the integrated lens of a social ecological and feminist theory model. The results showed that a substantial percentage of all participants had never received any education or training on DV in their undergraduate programs. The majority of participants had good knowledge about DV, and half of the participants believed that DV is “common” in their respective countries. Significant gender and cultural differences in the definition of DV were also revealed, with Northern Irish students and female students in both cultures more likely to regard a range of behaviors as a form of DV. The research findings suggest several potential directions for change, emphasizing the importance of establishing a systematic evidence-based multidisciplinary and interagency approach to teaching and learning for student health care professionals on the topic of DV in their undergraduate programs.
    SAGE Open 10/2012; 2(4).
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    A. Lazenbatt, L. Bunting, J. Taylor
    British Journal of Mental Health Nursing. 09/2012; 1(3):171-175.
  • Anne Lazenbatt
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter highlights over recent years that there has been an upsurge in research that has increased our knowledge and understanding of how pregnancy and the first postnatal year can lay significant foundations for positive child development. This new knowledge has created a consensus of opinion about the need to develop early interventions to help young children get the best start in life. Child abuse and maltreatment can have an impact early in an infant’s life, even as early as pregnancy and the postpartum period and can affect infants’ physical and emotional health, their learning and their capacity to form positive relationships throughout their lives. Child abuse is a major and complex public health and social welfare problem, caused by a myriad of factors that involve the individual, the family and the community. We know that child abuse or neglect and general trauma, including the witnessing of domestic abuse, are major threats to child health and wellbeing; they alter normal child development and, without intervention, may have lifelong consequences (Flaherty et al 2009).
    ‘Understanding and treating the life-long consequences of childhood sexual abuse’, 1st edited by Wilmer, G et al, 04/2012: chapter 1. Lazenbatt, A. (2012) Impact of abuse and neglect on the health and wellbeing of children and young people, In Wilmer, G et al. ‘Understanding and treating the life-long consequences of childhood sexual abuse’, The Lantern Project, Kilburn Prints: Leeds: pages 192; Lantern Press, Kilburn Prints: Leeds..
  • A. Lazenbatt, J.S. Taylor
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    ABSTRACT: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/briefings/fii_pdf_wdf83368.pdf
    01/2011; NSPCC. Avaialble: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/research/briefings/fii_pdf_wdf83368.pdf.
  • Anne Lazenbatt
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    ABSTRACT: Using a healthy settings framework, this study aims to compare and contrast how midwives working in either hospital or community settings are currently responding to the co-occurrence of domestic and child abuse; their perceived role and willingness to identify abuse; record keeping; reporting of suspected or definite cases of child abuse; and training received. A survey questionnaire was sent to 861 hospital and community midwives throughout Northern Ireland, which resulted in 488 midwives completing the questionnaire, a 57% response rate. Comparisons were made using descriptive statistics and cross-tabulation and the questionnaire was validated using exploratory factor analysis. Community midwives reported receiving more training on domestic and child abuse. Although a high percentage of both hospital and community midwives acknowledged a link between domestic and child abuse, it was the community midwives who encountered more suspected and definite (p < 0.001) cases of child abuse. More community midwives reported being aware of the mechanisms for reporting child abuse. However, an important finding is that although 12% of community midwives encountered a 'definite' case of child abuse, only 2% reported the abuse, leaving a 10% gap between reporting and identifying definite cases of child abuse. Findings suggest that lack of education and training was a problem as only a quarter of hospital midwives reported to have received training on domestic violence and 40% on child abuse. This was significantly less than that received by community midwives, where the figures were 57% and 62%, respectively. Midwives need training on how to interact with abused mothers using non-coercive, supportive and empowering mechanisms. Many women may not spontaneously disclose the issues of child or domestic abuse in their lives, but often respond honestly to a sensitively asked question. This issue is important as only 13% of the sample actually asked a woman a direct question about domestic violence.
    Perspectives in Public Health 05/2010; 130(3):118-26. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    Lisa Bunting, Anne Lazenbatt, Isla Wallace
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    ABSTRACT: Across the UK recent policy developments have focused on improved information sharing and inter-agency cooperation. Professional non-reporting of child maltreatment concerns has been consistently highlighted as a problem in a range of countries and the research literature indicates that this can happen for a variety of reasons. Characteristics such as the type of abuse and the threshold of evidence available are key factors, as are concerns that reporting will damage the professional-client relationship. Professional discipline can also impact on willingness to report, as can personal beliefs about abuse, attitudes towards child protection services and experiences of court processes.Research examining the role of organisational factors in information sharing and reporting emphasises the importance of training and there are some positive indications that training can increase professional awareness of reporting processes and requirements and help to increase knowledge of child abuse and its symptoms. Nonetheless, this is a complex issue and the need for training to go beyond simple awareness raising is recognised. In order to tackle non-reporting in a meaningful way, childcare professionals need access to on-going multidisciplinary training which is specifically tailored to address the range of different factors which impact on reporting attitudes and behaviours. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Child Abuse Review 04/2010; 19(3):187 - 202. · 0.56 Impact Factor
  • Anne Lazenbatt, Jean Greer
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    ABSTRACT: This article debates the issues involved in safeguarding and protecting children in maternity services and offers implications for professional practice. Midwives and other staff who work as members of the maternity team have a safeguarding role to play in the identification of babies and children who have been abused, or are at risk of abuse, and in subsequent intervention and protection services. Assessing domestic violence as a safeguarding issue has been relatively slow in gaining health professional acceptance even though the international evidence suggests that there are irrefutable links between domestic violence and child abuse. Domestic violence increases during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and is significantly related to all three types of child maltreatment up to the child's fifth year, with children under one year being at the highest risk of injury, or death. However, midwives need greater exposure to and familiarity with recommended safeguarding good practice; and must be able to identify and support abused women and children with a joined-up approach that has adequate resources and the support of health service managers. Close inter-agency liaison is required with midwives who are accountable and not afraid to challenge historical working practices, and who are willing to work across traditional boundaries to promote and maintain child safety.
    Child Care in Practice 10/2009; 15(4):313-326.

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