skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 65676 Find in a Library
Title: DEFINING CHILD ABUSE
Author(s): J M GIOVANNONI; R M BECERRA
Corporate Author: Free Press
Promotion Manager
Scholarly and Reference Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 320
Sponsoring Agency: Free Press
New York, NY 10020
Sale Source: Free Press
Promotion Manager
Scholarly and Reference Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN DEFINING CHILD ABUSE AND CHANGING CONCEPTS OF CHILD ABUSE OVER 300 YEARS ARE DISCUSSED, ALONG WITH FINDINGS FROM TWO SURVEYS, CASE STUDIES, AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS.
Abstract: PROBLEMS IN DEFINING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT ARE EVIDENCED IN STATE LAWS, VAGUE PROFESSIONAL CRITERIA AND GUIDELINES, AND EVEN A VAGUE CONCEPTION OF THE PROBLEM BY THE NATIONAL CENTER ON CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT. A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF CHILD MISTREATMENT REVIEWS COLONIAL TIMES AND THE ENGLISH SOCIOLEGAL HERITAGE, THE 19TH CENTURY SOCIAL REFORMS FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE CONCEPT OF MISTREATMENT, AND 20TH CENTURY DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO PRESENT CONCEPTIONS OF THE PROBLEM AND ITS MANAGEMENT. RESEACH INTO DEFINITIONAL PROBLEMS CONSISTED OF TWO PHASES: (1) A SURVEY OF OPINIONS OF 300 PROFESSIONALS (LAWYERS, PEDIATRICIANS, SOCIAL WORKERS, AND POLICE) AND OF 1,100 LAY PERSONS, AND (2) A SURVEY OF 949 ACTUAL CASES OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT. THE FIRST SURVEY EXAMINED SUBJECTS' OPINIONS ON 78 SPECIFIC INCIDENTS WHOSE CONTENT WAS DRAWN FROM ACTUAL CASE RECORDS, EXAMPLES IN LITERATURE, AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. A TOTAL OF 13 MAJOR CATEGORIES OF PROBLEMS WERE CLASSIFIED: CLEANLINESS, CLOTHING, DRUGS/ALCOHOL, EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT, EMOTIONAL NEGLECT, FOSTERING DELINQUENCY, HOUSING, MEDICAL NEGLECT, NUTRITION, PARENTAL SEXUAL MORES, PHYSICAL ABUSE, SUPERVISION, AND SEXUAL ABUSE. PATTERNS OF AGREEMENT AND DISAGREEMENT AMONG THE DIFFERENT PROFESSIONALS CONCERNED THEIR PERCEPTIONS OF THE SERIOUSNESS OF SPECIFIC INCIDENTS OF MISTREATMENT AND REFLECTED PROFESSIONAL FUNCTIONS RATHER THAN PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS. COMPARED WITH ANY OF THE PROFESSIONAL GROUPS, LAY PERSONS' RATINGS OF SERIOUSNESS WERE EXTREMELY HIGH. SURVEY RESULTS ALSO SHOWED THAT, WHILE SOCIAL CLASS WAS A MAJOR VARIABLE THAT INFLUENCED PERCEPTIONS OF SERIOUSNESS, ETHNICITY HAS AN OVERRIDING INFLUENCE WITH RESPECT TO PERCEPTIONS OF MOST KINDS OF TREATMENT. IN THE SECOND SURVEY, DATA REVEALED IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES IN THE NATURE OF THE MISTREATMENT IN THESE CASES AND THE SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH THEM. THE BOOK CONTENDS THAT, UNTIL THE COMPLEXITIES OF CHILD ABUSE ARE CLEARLY DELINEATED, NO GROUND RULES FOR TREATMENT OR PREVENTION ARE POSSIBLE. TABLES, A BIBLIOGRAPHY, AND AN INDEX ARE PROVIDED AND RELATED MATERIAL ARE APPENDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act; Child custody; Crimes against children; Cultural influences; Ethnic groups; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Laws and Statutes; Parental rights; Policy; Residential child care institutions; Surveys
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65676

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.