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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 203720 Find in a Library
Title: Overview of Child Physical Abuse: Developing an Integrated Parent-Child Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Approach
Journal: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:January 2004  Pages:65-85
Author(s): Melissa K. Runyon; Esther Deblinger; Erika E. Ryan; Reena Thakkar-Kolar
Date Published: January 2004
Page Count: 21
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After summarizing the literature on studies that have identified short-term and long-term effects of child physical abuse (CPA) as well as studies that have documented characteristics of parents/caregivers who commit CPA, this study examined the outcomes for various types of treatment used in CPA cases.
Abstract: Children who have suffered physical abuse exhibit a wide range of emotional and behavioral difficulties that may persist into adulthood and contribute to problems in future relationships, including relationships with their own children. The majority of parents at risk for committing CPA do not meet diagnostic criteria for full-blown psychiatric disorders; however, they do manifest deficits in parenting skills, stress-related difficulties, and complications in their relationships with their children. Parents who use extreme punitive practices have been characterized as immature, easily annoyed, and lacking in general knowledge about child development and appropriate child-management skills. Abusive parents are also prone to engage in inconsistent, negative, and aggressive child-rearing practices. Regarding treatment methods, parent-only cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) interventions have been associated with significant improvements in parenting abilities, parent-child interactions, and children's behavioral problems. There is very little research that has examined the effectiveness of CBT interventions in reducing children's emotional and behavioral difficulties related to their physical abuse. The few existing studies report promising results for CBT models used to treat such children. There is a consensus among researchers and mental health professionals that an integrated parent-child approach to CPA may be effective, when clinically appropriate. Providing treatment to only the parent may neglect the child's mental health needs and the parent-child relationship. Empirical research should examine the added benefit of including the child in the parent's treatment and the best means of doing this. Further, policies should include a focus on a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to dealing with families at risk for physical abuse. 105 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Child abuse; Child abuse treatment; Cognitive therapy; Long term health effects of child abuse; Treatment effectiveness; Treatment techniques
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