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Child Welfare. 1998 Jul-Aug;77(4):389-405.

The parental environment cluster model of child neglect: an integrative conceptual model.

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  • 1School of Social Work, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA.


The parenting environment comprises complex interacting factors at many system levels. The Parental Environment Cluster model of child neglect identifies three clusters of factors involved in the occurrence of neglectful behavior: factors related to parenting skills and functions; factors related to the development and use of positive social supports; and factors related to resource availability and management skills. According to the model, deficits in the parent's ability to use the parenting environment are present in the occurrence of child neglect. Management of the clusters and the ability to link the clusters affect the maintenance of the child's well-being. The model offers a focal theory for research on child neglect, a structure for exploring and refining the definition of neglect, and a framework for designing new interventive strategies in cases of child neglect.

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