1. One obvious limitation of the Household Surveys is that they may have undercounted children who experienced episodes but were living in households without telephones or were not living in households during the study period, including street children and homeless families. Although these are not large populations in comparison to the overall child population, they may be at risk for episodes. Other methodological factors, such as a preponderance of female caretaker interviewees and a greater likelihood of getting information about children in their primary residential household, may have resulted in some undercounting of family abductions perpetrated by females and caretakers with primary custody.

2. The absence of any stepmother perpetrators does not mean that there are no such abductions, only that they were too infrequent to have been detected in this study.

3. The absence of any family abducted children who were not located does not mean that these children do not exist, only that they were too infrequent to have been detected in this study.

4. Because of important differences in both definitions and methodology, the NISMART–1 and NISMART–2 data and findings should not be compared directly. In drawing comparisons to identify trends, researchers used the closest possible approximations of NISMART–1 methodology and definitions.

5. NISMART–1 found that family abduction can result in psychological harm to the child (Finkelhor, Hotaling, and Sedlak, 1990). Other studies (e.g., Grasso et al., 2001) have also found that family abduction cases may not receive the attention needed from the criminal justice system and that international family abductions in particular may be more difficult to resolve and often involve serious characteristics (e.g., concealment, threats).

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Children Abducted by Family Members:
National Estimates and Characteristics
NISMART Bulletin
October 2002