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NCJ Number: 148839 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Families of Missing Children, Final Report
Corporate Author: University of California
Ctr for the Study of Trauma
Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 340
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
University of California
San Francisco, CA 94143
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

University of California
Ctr for the Study of Trauma
Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Conducted for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, this project found that most families of missing children experienced substantial psychological consequences and emotional distress and that many brothers and sisters of missing children appeared to be isolated and forgotten as adults in the family focused their energy on the missing children.
Abstract: The project was conducted over a 3-year period at multiple sites throughout the United States. The sample included 280 families who were followed prospectively with in-home interviews. The project identified five categories of missing children: (1) nonfamily abductions in which the child was recovered alive; (2) nonfamily abductions in which the child was recovered dead; (3) nonfamily abductions involving an infant; (4) family abductions; and (5) runaways. Project findings indicated that, among families who lost a child to nonfamily abduction, the potential for child homicide as a consequence of the abductions was extremely high. The initial level of emotional distress for families in infant abduction cases was very high, and most recovered children experienced substantial psychological and emotional distress that varied over time. Family history prior to the child's disappearance significantly influenced the family's distress and the ability to cope with that distress. Most parents of missing children retained or increased their beliefs in family-oriented value systems despite the stress of child disappearance and an increase awareness of the unpredictability of life events. Almost all families of missing children primarily relied on law enforcement personnel for information, support, and intervention following child disappearance. Sixty percent of families affected by nonfamily child abductions rated law enforcement recovery efforts as highly competent. Nearly 80 percent of families did not receive mental health or counseling services, and about the same percentage did not receive local and/or regional missing child center support services. Most families of missing children wanted a more positive relationship with law enforcement, support from mental health and social service personnel who understood the unique characteristics of their situation, and information from information and support services over the length of the child's disappearance from missing child centers. Public policy recommendations resulting from the project's findings are offered. References, tables, and figures
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child victims; Crimes against children; Missing children; Psychological victimization effects; Runaways
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=148839

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