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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202169 Find in a Library
Title: Why a Universal Population-Level Approach to the Prevention of Child Abuse is Essential
Journal: Child Abuse Review  Volume:12  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2003  Pages:145-154
Author(s): Matthew R. Sanders; Warren Cann; Carol Markie-Dadds
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 10
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article discusses the importance of adopting a population-level approach to promote more effective parenting and to reduce the risk of child maltreatment.
Abstract: Parenting skills intervention has been emphasized to address the deficits in child management skills often found in abusive parents. Behavioral family interventions (BFI), based on social learning principles, are increasingly considered an essential component of child abuse prevention and treatment interventions. Evidence available with maltreating parents suggests that parent training leads to improvements in parenting competence and parent behavior. The interrelatedness of negative parental attributions, parental anger, and inadequate parenting practices suggest that an integrated approach to the prevention of child maltreatment is needed. A challenge in the prevention of child abuse is to re-orient the focus from treatment outcome studies to the development and evaluation of a population perspective to family problems. A comprehensive population-based strategy is needed to enhance parental competence, prevent dysfunctional parenting practices, change parental attributions, and promote better teamwork between partners, thereby reducing an important set of family risk factors associated with child maltreatment. For this to be effective, several scientific and clinical criteria need to be met. There must be knowledge of the prevalence and incidence of child outcomes being targeted and family risk factors, knowledge that changing risk factors leads to a reduction in incidence and prevalence, use of effective family interventions, culturally appropriate family interventions, and widely available interventions. Large-scale cluster randomization designs are needed to further clarify the costs and benefits of population interventions as well as their effects on child and parenting variables, child abuse notifications, and hospitalization data. 47 references
Main Term(s): Child abuse treatment; Research methods
Index Term(s): Child abuse prevention; Crisis intervention; Family counseling; Parent education; Treatment; Victim services
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