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NCJ Number: 141902 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION OF CHILD NEGLECT
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:special issue (March 1993)  Pages:8-26
Author(s): H Dubowitz; M Black; R H Starr Jr; S Zuravin
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20447
Grant Number: 90-CA-1401
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although child neglect is the most common form of child maltreatment, considerable confusion remains regarding its definition; a conceptual definition of neglect is presented that is based on an ecological model of child maltreatment.
Abstract: Child neglect accounts for over half of all child maltreatment cases reported to child protective services. Nonetheless, little information is available on the causes or consequences of neglect. The lack of a clear definition of child neglect has compromised the clinical management of neglected children, research in the area, and society's ability to develop policies and programs to prevent and intervene in child neglect. The authors present a conceptual definition of child neglect that focuses on basic needs of children rather than on intentions or behaviors of parents. The replacement of parental culpability by a shared responsibility including parents, families, communities, and society is suggested. Neglect is seen as a heterogeneous phenomenon that varies by type, severity, and chronicity. In addition, neglect is understood as existing on a continuum ranging from optimum to grossly inadequate care. The context in which neglect occurs, including parents' understanding of child needs, religious and cultural beliefs, and poverty, influences the approach of clinicians, researchers, and policymakers toward the problem of child neglect. There is a need to clarify what society accepts as adequate care and protection of children and to examine whether certain conditions and omissions in care are likely to harm children. 51 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile dependency and neglect
Index Term(s): Child protection services; Child victims; Neglectful parents
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