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Child Abuse Negl. 1992 Jul-Aug;16(4):455-64.

Child maltreatment as a community problem.

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Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development, Chicago, IL.


This report reviews research on the community dimensions of child maltreatment and presents a study conducted in the United States designed to illuminate further the importance of social environmental effects on family functioning. The study involves 77 community areas within the Chicago, Illinois, metropolitan area. Child maltreatment rates are related to indicators of socioeconomic and demographic well being for these neighborhoods and for the subunits within them. The results reveal a strong influence of socioeconomic and demographic factors on child maltreatment rates. A further analysis involves selecting pairs of neighborhoods for additional study. In this phase of the research the character of socioeconomically similar areas with contrasting patterns of child maltreatment is revealed. The high-risk areas are characterized by social disorganization and lack of social coherence, in contrast to the low-risk areas which evidence a stronger social fabric. These effects extend to differences in child abuse fatalities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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