Classification of child abuse by motive and degree rather than type of injury

University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom
Archives of Disease in Childhood (Impact Factor: 2.9). 03/2003; 88(2):101-4. DOI: 10.1136/adc.88.2.101
Source: PubMed


The protection of children may be enhanced if ill treatment is classified by motive and degree rather than by type of injury. Four categories are proposed: A, abuse: premeditated ill treatment undertaken for gain by disturbed, dangerous, and manipulative individuals; B, active ill treatment: impulsively undertaken because of socioeconomic pressures, lack of education, resources, and support, or mental illnesses; C, universal mild ill treatment: behaviour undertaken by all normal caring parents in all societies; and D, neglect: defined here as an unintentional failure to supply the child's needs. Such a classification could clarify the procedures for investigation and protection, and support the creation of a Special Interagency Taskforce on Criminal Abuse (SITCA) for those suspected of abuse (category A).

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Available from: Martin Philip Samuels
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    • "Neglect is the absence of a desired set of conditions or behaviors, as opposed to the presence of an undesirable set of behaviors. A definition of neglect, therefore, implies a certain set of desired behaviors as well as a designation as to who should be responsible for meeting the needs or performing the desired behaviors (Golden, Samuels, & Southall, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between child experiences identified conceptually as "neglectful" prior to age 4 and child outcomes at age 4. This was done using measures from two sites collected as part of LONGSCAN. Child needs were included within categories of physical and psychological safety and security. Problems with residence safety or cleanliness and untreated behavioral problems predicted child impairments in language. CPS reports of failure to provide shelter predicted impairments in several developmental outcomes. A stimulating home environment predicted less impairment in cognitive development. Multiple changes in residence predicted externalizing behavior problems. Exposure to verbally aggressive discipline predicted more behavioral problems overall. Conversely, some indicators (such as caregiver transitions and lack of medical care) predicted less developmental impairment or fewer behavior problems in certain domains. The approach supports a conceptualization of neglect based on child developmental needs. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
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    Preview · Article · Mar 2003 · BMJ (online)
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