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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 167541 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Predicting Duration and Harm in Family Abduction Episodes
Author(s): P S Plass; D Finkelhor; G T Hotaling
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: 92-MC-CX-0017
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined two "family abduction" outcomes: duration of the episode (how long aggrieved parents and children were separated from one another) and whether or not an episode resulted in some sort of harm to a child involved.
Abstract: Data from the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway Children (NISMART), because they focused on a broad continuum of abductions varying in their degree of seriousness, were well suited to examining these issues. In NISMART's national probability sample, telephone contact was made with 10,544 households, where primary caretakers were asked about the experiences of 20,505 children aged 17 or younger. Two types of situations were included in the definition of "family abduction" used by NISMART: situations in which a family member took a child in violation of a custody agreement or decree or situations in which a family member (in violation of a custody agreement of decree) failed to return a child at the end of a legal or agreed upon visitation period, with the child being away at least one additional night. NISMART identified 104 family abduction incidents that involved 142 children. The study found that the length of time it takes to resolve a family abduction and the amount of harm the abducted child experienced are related, both logically and statistically. Greater duration of abductions was associated with an increased risk that a child would be harmed. Moreover, both are indicators of more serious events that should receive special attention from police and court officers. One common factor is apparently related to both duration and likelihood of harm. Perpetrator behaviors that are threatening, including the threat to hold the child permanently, have a positive relationship to both duration of episodes and the likelihood of harm to a child. 4 tables, 13 references, and 8 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child Abduction; Child abuse; Psychological victimization effects
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