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Child Maltreat. 2007 Nov;12(4):364-77.

Primary prevention of child physical abuse and neglect: gaps and promising directions.

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  • 1Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Reviews on primary prevention have identified effective strategies to prevent child maltreatment but have ignored potentially promising interventions that have not yet been evaluated as well as gaps in the development of programs. The goal of this review was to identify these gaps and recommend future directions for developing interventions from a public health perspective. To this end, a systematic review of the literature for 1980-2004 utilizing existing databases and found 188 primary prevention interventions that addressed a broad range of risk factors was conducted. However, few had been rigorously evaluated, and only a handful demonstrated impact on child maltreatment or its risk factors. From a public health perspective, interventions that target prevalent and neglected risk factors such as poverty, partner violence, teenage pregnancy, and social norms tolerating violence toward children need to be developed and evaluated. In addition, more attention should be given to low cost interventions delivered to the public, by society, or that require minimal effort from recipients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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