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Child Abuse Negl. 1999 Aug;23(8):729-43.

Predicting child maltreatment recurrences during treatment.

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1
University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore 21201, USA.

Abstract

The primary purpose of the child protective services system is to protect children from the recurrence of child maltreatment. Understanding more about what predicts recurrence may help us more adequately target interventions to reduce the risk of future maltreatment.

OBJECTIVE:

The specific objective of this study was to identify correlates of recurrence during CPS intervention for families who were provided continuing intervention following a confirmed index report of physical abuse or neglect.

METHOD:

This nonconcurrent prospective study selected 446 subject families who met study eligibility requirements from 1,181 families randomly selected from the 2,902 families who had experienced a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect during the sampling year. Data were collected and coded from archival sources for 5 years following the index report. Each record was coded by two research analysts to increase inter-rater reliability. Data were analyzed with survival analysis methods: (1) Kaplan Meier and (2) the Cox Proportional Regression Model.

RESULTS:

Predictors of recurrence were child vulnerability, family stress, partner abuse, social support deficits, and an interaction between family stress and social support deficits.

CONCLUSIONS:

Implications of this and earlier research suggest that increasing social supports may help families cope with life events that increase stress and the risk of continued child maltreatment; that collaborations between CPS and domestic violence agencies are needed; and that screening maltreated children for mental health problems and other disabilities and assuring that children with these needs and their families get effective treatment may reduce the likelihood of continued maltreatment.

PMID:
10477234
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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