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NCJ Number: 209627 Find in a Library
Title: Examination of a Conceptual Model of Child Neglect
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:10  Issue:2  Dated:May 2005  Pages:173-189
Author(s): Howard Dubowitz; Rae R. Newton; Alan J. Litrownik; Terri Lewis; Ernestine C. Briggs; Richard Thompson; Diana English; Li-Ching Lee; Margaret M. Feerick
Date Published: May 2005
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study attempts to develop and evaluate a conceptual approach to defining child neglect and whether different measures and/or variables available from a multi-site, longitudinal study satisfactorily represented latent constructs of identified basic needs of children.
Abstract: In an attempt to move beyond typical categorical definitions of neglect based on Child Protective Services (CPS) reports resulting in the identification of cases where neglect occurred or did not occur, this study identified types of children’s basic needs through a review of theoretical and empirical literature. Data collected as part of an ongoing multi-site longitudinal study were utilized in order to operationalize these types of needs by developing latent constructs. Twelve types of needs were identified and measures administered to 377 children and caregivers at ages 4 and 6 years were examined to identify potential indicators of these needs. Results in this attempt to develop the measurement model of children’s basic needs can be summarized in the following: (1) 12 types of children’s needs were initially specified; (2) preliminary efforts to identify candidate measures or items that might serve as indicators of these constructs yielded 8 latent constructs (emotional support and/or affection, 6 constructs; exposure to family conflict and/or violence, 1 construct; and exposure to community violence and/or lack of community safety, 1 construct); (3) indicators for each of these 8 constructs were found only within reports from a single informant (parent or child); and (4) there was strong support for the fit of the measurement model. Even with limitations of the data and analytic model, the results in approaching the definition of neglect by focusing on children’s basic needs and relating the latent constructs to children’s later functioning have useful research and policy implications. References
Main Term(s): Juvenile dependency and neglect
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child development; Child neglect causes; Children at risk; Definitions; Home environment; Neglectful parents; Testing and measurement; Youth development
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