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Child abuse and neglect is recognized as one of the major social problems facing modern society today. An increase in the theory and research into causes and treatment has resulted in the growth of practical knowledge derived from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, education, sociology, social work, and related professions. Reflecting a multi-disciplinary approach, this study presents the latest findings from these fields by exploring the issue of child abuse and neglect from a broad theoretical perspective. Both micro and macro approaches are stressed in the work, with particular emphasis on social factors related to child abuse and neglect, characteristics of adults and families likely to abuse and neglect and emerging strategies of treatment including family therapy.
Each year, child protective services receive reports of child abuse and neglect involving six million children, and many more go unreported. The long-term human and fiscal consequences of child abuse and neglect are not relegated to the victims themselves -- they also impact their families, future relationships, and society. In 1993, the National Research Council (NRC) issued the report, Under-standing Child Abuse and Neglect, which provided an overview of the research on child abuse and neglect. New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research updates the 1993 report and provides new recommendations to respond to this public health challenge. According to this report, while there has been great progress in child abuse and neglect research, a coordinated, national research infrastructure with high-level federal support needs to be established and implemented immediately. New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research recommends an actionable framework to guide and support future child abuse and neglect research. This report calls for a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to child abuse and neglect research that examines factors related to both children and adults across physical, mental, and behavioral health domains--including those in child welfare, economic support, criminal justice, education, and health care systems--and assesses the needs of a variety of subpopulations. It should also clarify the causal pathways related to child abuse and neglect and, more importantly, assess efforts to interrupt these pathways. New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research identifies four areas to look to in developing a coordinated research enterprise: a national strategic plan, a national surveillance system, a new generation of researchers, and changes in the federal and state programmatic and policy response.
The tragedy of child abuse and neglect is in the forefront of public attention. Yet, without a conceptual framework, research in this area has been highly fragmented. Understanding the broad dimensions of this crisis has suffered as a result. This new volume provides a comprehensive, integrated, child-oriented research agenda for the nation. The committee presents an overview of three major areas: oDefinitions and scope--exploring standardized classifications, analysis of incidence and prevalence trends, and more. oEtiology, consequences, treatment, and prevention--analyzing relationships between cause and effect, reviewing prevention research with a unique systems approach, looking at short- and long-term consequences of abuse, and evaluating interventions. oInfrastructure and ethics--including a review of current research efforts, ways to strengthen human resources and research tools, and guidance on sensitive ethical and legal issues. This volume will be useful to organizations involved in research, social service agencies, child advocacy groups, and researchers.