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Rates of physical and sexual child abuse have declined, but not child neglect

Date:
September 12, 2013
Source:
National Academy of Sciences
Summary:
Rates of physical and sexual abuse of children have declined over the last 20 years, but for reasons not fully understood. Yet, reports of psychological and emotional child abuse have risen in the same period, and data vary significantly as to whether child neglect is increasing, decreasing, or remaining constant.

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.

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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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Committee on Child Maltreatment Research, Policy, and Practice for the Next Decade: Phase II; Board on Children, Youth, and Families (BOCYF); Institute of Medicine (IOM). New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research. The National Academies Press, September 2013

Cite This Page:

National Academy of Sciences. "Rates of physical and sexual child abuse have declined, but not child neglect." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912143940.htm>.
National Academy of Sciences. (2013, September 12). Rates of physical and sexual child abuse have declined, but not child neglect. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912143940.htm
National Academy of Sciences. "Rates of physical and sexual child abuse have declined, but not child neglect." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130912143940.htm (accessed April 25, 2015).

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