Sherwood-Johnson F (2012) Problems with the Term and Concept of 'Abuse': Critical Reflections on the Scottish Adult Support and Protection Study. British Journal of Social Work, 42 (5), pp. 833-850. http://bjsw.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/09/15/bjsw.bcr115; https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr115
This paper critically reflects on the Scottish Adult Support and Protection study (the ASP study), a research project conducted at a time when "adult protection" was understood in Scottish policies to be the professional response to "abuse". During the course of analysing the ASP study data, it became apparent that practitioners themselves did not necessarily construct "abuse" and "adult protection" concerns as coterminous categories. Some examples are recounted to illustrate the potentially more partial, less linear relationship between these categories in practice than in policy constructions. The paper concludes with suggestions for further research into professionals’ constructions of "adult protection" concerns. It explains why such research would have continuing, if not greater, relevance in the context of recent Scottish policy moves to re-conceptualise adult protection as a response not to "abuse" but to "harm".
adult protection; adult safeguarding; adult abuse; harm; vulnerability; Domestic violence; Wife abuse; Child abuse Law and legislation; Violence (Law); Human services
British Journal of Social Work: Volume 42, Issue 5