During the past decade, a dramatic increase in research and clinical interest has risen in child abuse and neglect. This recent growth in awareness isdue at leastpartly to thealarmingstatisticsdocumentingthe incidence of child maltreatment. Almost one million children are re- ported to be abused and neglected each year, and many experts believe that this figure underestimates the true incidence. Indeed, recentsurveys suggest that almost 1. 5 million children are the targets of domestic vio- lence every year. A significantproportion of these children die as a func- tion of this maltreatment, whereas theremaindersuffera variety ofshort- and long-term deleterious medicaland psychosocial consequences. Child maltreatment is a universal problem that has precipitated a mobilization of effort from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, medicine, psychiatry, social work, sociology, and criminology. Particular attention has been directed toward the prevention and treatment of childabuse and neglect. Such endeavors require the screen- ing of large groups in order to identify families that are at high-risk for engaging in such behavior. Delineating those characteristics that differ- entiate high- from low-risk families and children is one of the obvious priorities for researchers and clinicians in the future. This book, there- fore, carefully considers the status of research on risk factors of abuse and neglect in children. Adduced data undoubtedly will have practical value for subsequent intervention efforts.
I. Introduction.- 1 Research in Child Abuse and Neglect: Current Status and an Agenda for the Future.- II. General Issues.- 2 The Epidemiology of Child Maltreatment.- 3 Trends in Legislation and Case Law on Child Abuse and Neglect.- 4 Research Directions Related to Child Abuse and Neglect.- 5 Social and Emotional Consequences of Child Maltreatment.- III. Risk Factors Associated with Child Abuse and Neglect.- 6 Sociological and Ecological Factors.- 7 Parental Psychopathology and High-Risk Children.- 8 Predisposing Child Factors.- IV. Prevention and Treatment.- 9 Prevention Programs.- 10 Treating the Abused Child.- 11 Treating the Child Abuser.- V. Conclusions.- 12 Future Directions.- Author Index.