The process of establishing national education in Great Britain in the late 19th century demanded acceptance of cardinal measures on revising the system of primary education in general, changing the approaches to training and education of children and teacher training. A wide network of teacher training colleges required manuals on pedagogical psychology for elementary school teachers. Alexander Bain and James Sully were the first to develop the issues of pedagogical psychology in Great Britain. Psychology and pedagogical views of Alexander Bain can be found in the works “Education as a Science“, “Psychology“. Psychological ideas of James Sully are reflected in the works “The Teacher’s Handbook of Psychology“, “Studies of Childhood“, “Pedagogical Psychology“. In the works of the British scientists, a wide range of pedagogical psychology issues are presented: from lesson organization issues to problems of professional and basic qualities of teachers. Ideas on the value of a reflection and empathy as factors of efficacy of pedagogical activity were innovative ideas, for psychology and pedagogical science of the 19th century; readiness and ability of the teacher for self-control as basis of efficiency of training and education processes; on the value of communicative, organizing and pedagogical abilities of the teacher, etc. First mentioned in Alexander Bain and James Sully’s works, many ideas find reflection in works of modern scholars.
The paper highlights the urgent issues of complex and multifaceted social and legal phenomenon of «child abuse». The definitions of «child abuse» in family law and relevant explanations of the Supreme Court in relation to Article 69 of the Family Code are shown. Within the criminal protection of children, it is determined that erroneous and deliberately incorrect qualification of actions of those responsible for committing child abuse that occurs in the practice of the preliminary investigation and inquiry occurs due to the imperfection of criminal law, including the lack of the concept of «child abuse», which is used as a mandatory feature in the art. 156 of the Criminal Code (failure to child-rearing responsibilities). This gap in the criminal law and personnel incompetence allow the guilty evade responsibility, as they are often refused a suit, or ordered to dismiss the criminal case or termination of proceedings for various reasons. The necessity of a legislative definition of «child abuse», shall be due to the following: analysis of available scientific debate in the doctrine of criminal law, the definition of «child abuse» in Article 156 of the Criminal Code; lighting statistical parameters, confirming the high level of latency of this category of crime, but because of difficulty with their identification and qualification; generalization of judicial practice, which also does not have a uniform approach to solving the problems mentioned above, but allowed to identify the main forms of manifestation of «child abuse» as a result of which there are specific consequences of distorting the child’s personality. Summing up, for the criminal law to protect the rights of the child and the right of a practical approach, the concept of «child abuse» should be legally defined as the category of the legal institution carries risks too broad or, on the contrary, overly narrow its interpretation, which may lead to abuse in law enforcement, as well as leave the guilty unpunished, and defenseless children.