Theories of Child Abuse and Neglect: Differential Perspectives, Summaries, and Evaluations

Theories of Child Abuse and Neglect: Differential Perspectives, Summaries, and Evaluations

Theories of Child Abuse and Neglect: Differential Perspectives, Summaries, and Evaluations

Theories of Child Abuse and Neglect: Differential Perspectives, Summaries, and Evaluations

Synopsis

This book was prepared under the impetus of desperate need in academic institutions and clinical and social services for a comprehensive introduction to the diverse theories about child abuse and neglect etiologies. During the past three decades, professionals in different occupational fields have been actively involved in the identification, intervention, treatment, and prevention of child victimization and its detrimental consequences. This book describes, summarizes, and evaluates more than 40 of the theoretical viewpoints that have been proposed in the literature and used for clinical practice as well as academic research.

Excerpt

This book was prepared under the impetus of desperate need, in academic institutions and clinical and social services, for a comprehensive introduction to diverse theorizations of child abuse and neglect etiologies. History documents that child maltreatment has existed since the beginning of human civilization. However, the formal recognition of the problem of child maltreatment has a relatively short history. It was not until the 1960s that the gravity and scope of child abuse and neglect became a topic of serious study by professionals. During the past three decades, professionals in different occupational fields, especially medicine, psychiatry, social work, law, sociology, and psychology, have been actively involved in the identification, intervention, treatment, and prevention of child victimization and its detrimental consequences. Specifically, in studying the etiology of child maltreatment, many theoretical viewpoints have been proposed in the literature and used for clinical practice as well as academic research.

Based on different disciplinary orientations, these proposed viewpoints are rather diverse in conceptualization of basic human nature, child maltreatment causalities, and intervention strategies. Theoretical differences have also resulted in diverse empirical research programs on the cognitive, affective, linguistic, social, and behavioral sequelae of child maltreatment. Therefore, during the past two decades, child abuse and neglect has become a rapidly blooming field in both theoretical development and empirical evaluation.

Despite the existence of many theorizations, availability of empirical research findings, and implementation of various service programs, the prevalence of child abuse and neglect has not decreased, but rather has significantly increased in recent years. Economic and human costs of maltreatment are astronomical. The continuing detrimental impact on victimized children, at-risk families, and various societal institutions calls for a complete reevaluation of child victimization etiologies and societal approaches to combating the problem.

Based on an in-depth evaluation of various issues and resources involved, we . . .

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