ERIC Number: ED207669
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Prevention of Child Abuse: Theory, Myth, Practice.
Newberger, Eli H.; Newberger, Carolyn Moore
Child abuse is discussed in terms of theory which when realized may lead to more effective primary and secondary prevention efforts. Theoretical explanations of child abuse are classified as either unitary or interactive. Unitary theories (psychological, sociological, and legal views of behavior) are considered deficient; none is capable of explaining individuals or families who theoretically ought to be child abusers but are not. Each unitary theory's specific inadequacies are mentioned. Interactive theories explain child abuse as a symptom of disturbance in a complex ecosystem with interacting variables and account for those individuals who do not abuse children despite the presence in their lives of factors normally associated with child abuse. The interactive context leads to suggestions regarding prevention. Three myths of child abuse prevention are noted: professionals are the key to preventing and curing child abuse; efficient screening prevents child abuse; and prevention of child abuse will require a social revolution. Several prevention measures are mentioned, including changes in social policy regarding child abuse, parent education about child development, mutual support groups, crisis lines, emergency child care services, accessible health care for children, and dissemination of information about child abuse. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Social Policy
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Boston, MA, April 2-5, 1981).