Societal Interventions to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

By Hay, Tom; Jones, Lisa | Child Welfare, September 1994 | Go to article overview

Societal Interventions to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect


Hay, Tom, Jones, Lisa, Child Welfare


Child abuse and neglect can be prevented and the welfare of children promoted by activities and initiatives aimed at communities, states, countries, and even the international community. These societal level prevention efforts are key components in a comprehensive response to what is considered a "child protection emergency" [U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect 1993]. Prevention requires an "increased social investment in family and community" [Wachtel 1994].

The theoretical framework of this article is an ecological developmental one [National Research Council 1993]. Both risk factors and protective factors are present at the level of the individual, the family, the community and environment, the culture, and the society, and can interact in myriad ways to result in different types and combinations of child maltreatment. Child maltreatment is an extreme on a continuum, a severe manifestation of dysfunction in the interplay between a child's development and the conditions and relationships that affect that development. These complexities make it difficult to promote social change, and they challenge our efforts to devise, conduct, and disseminate research on societal interventions and initiatives. We do not claim to have identified all of the complexities here. Rather, we hope to highlight certain key factors and to point up several prevention directions in a systems context. The analysis of the effects of poverty, neighborhood, culture, parenting practices, and multiple stressors applies more to physical and emotional abuse and neglect than to sexual abuse of children. Another article of comparable scope would be necessary to encompass the prevention of child sexual maltreatment using the ecological developmental perspective.

This framework offers various possible ways to look at research priorities in prevention at the community and societal levels. This article deals with three areas that have potential for broad, societal level intervention efforts: (1) increasing economic self-sufficiency of families, (2) enhancing communities and their resources, and (3) discouraging corporal punishment and other forms of violence.

Although research priorities for societal interventions differ from those of more sharply targeted prevention activities, two fundamental research questions characterize all prevention efforts, regardless of whether an activity is directed at identified children and families, broad sectors of the population, or macrosystems. The first question deals primarily with evaluation research: What approaches work? The second question deals with policy and systems issues: What is necessary to initiate and sustain effective prevention activities?

It can also be informative to compare the United States with other countries where macrolevel differences in law, administration, services, and culture prevail. The way children are treated might be demonstrably related to particular factors in different countries. The U.S. and Canada, for example, have much in common in demographics, culture, and media, but they also differ critically in health care and social services. These differences may be related to Canada's lower child death rates and teen pregnancy rates [Canadian Institute of Child Health 1989]. Other countries have greater differences in the amount and allocation of resources, and the impact this has on children. International research on societal factors promoting or preventing child maltreatment is limited. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child affords a framework for broad involvement in social change to support parents and families and to prevent maltreatment of children. International research on the implementation and impacts of the Convention can yield information on a wide range of societal level initiatives in behalf of children.

In discussing research priorities for societal level prevention, it is important to recognize their link with research on other prevention and intervention efforts directed toward child maltreatment and other social problems. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Societal Interventions to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.