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Trauma Violence Abuse. 2016 Oct;17(4):387-97. doi: 10.1177/1524838016658879.

Community-Level Approaches to Child Maltreatment Prevention.

Author information

1
Institute on Urban Health Research & Practice, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA b.molnar@northeastern.edu.
2
Institute on Urban Health Research & Practice, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

Often the focus of the field of child maltreatment has concentrated on identifying and intervening on risk and protective factors at the individual and family levels; however, since the 1970s, the important roles that communities play in both exacerbating and preventing child maltreatment have received attention as well. This article outlines the development of this area of scientific inquiry, describes the theoretical frameworks utilized by existing programs, and describes several community-level programs aimed at preventing child maltreatment that show promise as scalable strategies to enhance individual and family strengths and reduce caregiver stress. Challenges inherent in community-level programming in increasingly diverse environments and in building/maintaining political will for sustainability of evidence-based efforts are discussed as well. A multilevel, holistic approach that takes into account developmental changes and needs of individuals as well as their environments is likely to bring about more sustainable change in protecting children from abuse and neglect than efforts focused solely on individuals.

KEYWORDS:

child maltreatment; community level; prevention

PMID:
27580664
DOI:
10.1177/1524838016658879
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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