Help-seeking behaviors in non-offending caregivers of abused children in the Philippines

Faridah Kristi Cabbigat, Maria Kangas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The help-seeking process among non-offending caregivers (NOCs) of abused children particularly in the non-Western context has yet to be elucidated. The objective of the current study was to investigate what proportion of Filipino NOCs of abused children sought professional support services within 12 months following child abuse disclosure (T1) and at 12 months (T2) follow-up in the Philippines. Two further aims were to investigate NOCs’ preferred service providers and settings and to explore barriers to help-seeking. A comparison group of Filipino parents without an abused child were also recruited to compare preferences and potential barriers to help seeking for child and family problems. A total of 47 NOCs and 70 comparison parents/guardians completed questionnaires, which assessed help-seeking preferences and barriers as well as parental stress. The majority of NOCs reported seeking help, which was perceived to be helpful. Almost two thirds of NOCs indicated preference for in-person counseling relative to the comparison group of parents. The majority of NOCs preferred seeking help from social workers and psychologists. Almost one third of both parental samples reported being judged as an unfit parent as a key barrier to seeking help for family problems. The findings have implications for psychological and allied health service providers in facilitating the adjustment for families of recently abused children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-573
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number5
Early online date20 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2018


  • barriers
  • child abuse
  • emotional well-being
  • help-seeking
  • mental health services
  • non-offending caregivers


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