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Child Abuse as an Example of Coexistence of Emotional and Physical Trauma Among Children: An Academic Overview With Altmetric Perspective

Fatih Akova, Zehra Koyuncu, Elif Erol, Burak Dogangun, Nuket Guler Baysoy, Mehmet Dokur, Alper Ozkilic, Mehmet Karadag – 2022

Introduction: Child abuse combines emotional, physical, sexual, and neglect aspects of violence, thus diversifying the trauma for a child. Publications about child abuse had been discussed in academia for long years and evaluated by bibliometric analysis, frequently. This study aims to evaluate the most discussed/disseminated scientific publications about child abuse in electronic media such as social media accounts, blogs, podcasts, and media news sites using a new analysis method called altmetric analysis.

Methods: The data were obtained from the Altmetric Explorer database using the phrase “child abuse,” in 2021. After being ranked by altmetric attention score (AAS), descriptive statistics for all publications as well as detailed analyses for the first-100 publications were performed. Variables evaluated were AAS, dimensions-badge value, distribution of web sources, demographic/geographic-breakdown type distributions, main subject categories, and mesh terms. Kruskal Wallis test was used for AAS and dimensions-badge value comparisons while Spearman correlations and regression analysis were also performed. Analyses were performed by SPSS 23.0 (IBM SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) and p<0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Publications about child abuse were shared extensively on social media, mostly on Twitter. In terms of the main subject, sexual abuse was the trending topic, followed by physical abuse and maltreatment. Psychology, studies in human society, health sciences, and law/legal issues were the four main science categories about the subject. The United States was the major disseminator of publications while Child Abuse and Neglect was the most productive journal. There was a weak but significant (p<0.05) positive correlation between AAS and dimensions-badge values.

Conclusion: Child abuse is a multidimensional subject in social media. As the number of publications increases, the possibility of articles to be shared on different social media platforms also increases. The majority of the top-100 publications are the ones emphasizing the importance of child abuse in terms of the prevalence, individual/social burden, and negative consequences.