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ERIC Number: EJ945441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Child Emotional Aggression and Abuse: Definitions and Prevalence
Slep, Amy M. Smith; Heyman, Richard E.; Snarr, Jeffery D.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v35 n10 p783-796 Oct 2011
Objective: Research on and intervention for child emotional abuse and emotional aggression toward children have been severely hampered because there have been no agreed-upon, clinically usable definitions. Methods: We have (a) proposed and field-tested a set of criteria to operationally define child emotional abuse for clinical settings and (b) used these criteria to design a parent-report measure of parental emotional aggression and child emotional abuse that could be used in research. In this paper, we review the development and field trials of these criteria for making substantiation decisions. Results: Agreement between master reviewers and field decisions was extremely high in a 5-site development trial (96% agreement, [kappa] = 0.89) and a 41-site dissemination trial (90% agreement, [kappa] = 0.73). We compare these criteria to other research criteria in the literature. We then present data collected using a self-report measure designed to parallel these criteria from an anonymous online survey of US Air Force personnel and their spouses. The final sample (N = 52,780) was weighted to be representative of the United States civilian population. The prevalence of parents' emotionally aggressive acts was much higher than the prevalence of emotional abuse (acts plus impact), but rates of parents' acts of emotional aggression were lower than those typically reported in the literature. Additional analyses tested for differential effects due to gender of perpetrator (i.e., mothers or fathers), age of victim, and clustering within families. These factors did not drive rates of aggression or abuse. Conclusions: In sum, the criteria developed and proposed appear to support reliable clinical decision making regarding child emotional abuse and can be translated to research survey tools that better capture the continuum of parents' emotional aggression and child emotional abuse than the measures that are currently available, advancing the state of the science with respect to child emotional abuse. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A