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Child Abuse, Annotated Bibliography Example

Pages: 11

Words: 2891

Annotated Bibliography

It is extremely difficult to quantify any form of deviant behaviors such as child abuse in the general population because doing so requires all victims to report their abuse. Almost all published empirical studies that focus on the disclosure of child maltreatment and juvenile sexual abuse suggest that a large portion of victims of child abuse who report their maltreatment to higher authorities often delay doing so. Moreover, a high percentage of victims never disclose the abuse they endure at all. The delay between the first incident and the ensuing disclosure of sexual abuse varies on an idiosyncratic basis depending on various factors including the age of the juvenile victim at the time of the incident; the gender of the abused; the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator of the sexual abuse; the likely ramifications of disclosure to authorities; the various cognitive and developmental variables associated with the abused child; and the severity of the reported sexual abuse (Johnson-Reid et al., 2010). As such, juvenile sexual abuse remains profoundly underreported. In the cases of young victims reporting their sexual abuse, it often takes years after the time of the incident for them to do so as evident in adult retrospective assessments on sexual abuse during childhood. Despite the difficulty in quantifying child abuse prevalence, there are various legislative and governmental mechanisms in place in order to address the problem of child abuse and violence. A selective bibliography of scholarly research and studies conducted therein in addition to governmental documents further sheds light on the issue and underscores various avenues for future research needed to combat the frequent problem of child abuse in the United States today.

California Attorney General’s Office. (1988). California child victim witness judicial advisory committee: Final report. Office of the Attorney General. 

This government document from the state of California reports on both the judicial and investigative procedures and processes that implemented in California relative to cases of child abuse and for those who witness such incidents. Government officials pay special attention to unique issues and problems confronted by victims of intrafamilial child abuse and violence in coordination with civil and criminal justice processes and proceedings. In California, much attention is paid to ensuring that victims of child abuse are safeguarding from having to testify in court against their abuser. Moreover, the issue of juvenile witnesses of child abuse is directly addressed. This report provides a thorough legislative analysis of the issue of child abuse and its various facets within the state of California that helps stress the fact that child abuse and neglect is taken very seriously by local and state governments. The report expands the definition of child abuse beyond physical harm endured by a child. Rather, emotional abuse must also be adjudicated by the criminal justice system, a facet that hitherto had not been clearly defined because it is an encompassing term. According to the report, emotional abuse refers to any behavioral patterns exhibited by a parent or caretaker that blunts the psychological and/or emotional development and health of a child.  Such impairing activities can include neglect, humiliation, rejection, threats, intimidation, words or actions that induce guilt or fear in a child, lack of support or affection to a child, and criticism. Children who bear witness to domestic violence—especially between parents—also constitutes a form of emotional maltreatment. All suspected cases of emotional abuse, like physical abuse, need to be reported to state agencies or law enforcement so as to not endanger the child any further. This report is useful by clearly outlining child abuse policies and processes and the mission of the state government to combat the problem. Moreover, it underscores how local, state, and national agencies collaborate in order to address the issue of child abuse and neglect. By widening the definition of child abuse beyond the physical, this report sheds light on the importance of forging healthy relationships between parents and children so that they do not grow up damaged and thus engage in deviant behavior. It could be improved by outlining which populations are vulnerable, or more at-risk, for child abuse to take place. Environmental factors such as socioeconomic status , locale (urban or rural), and family dynamics play a role in child abuse prevalence. Identifying at-risk populations for escalating levels of child abuse facilitates reporting of incidents and could possibly reduce child abuse incidents. A discussion of the effectiveness of interventions that had been implemented at the state level would also have been useful for researchers on this topic.

Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect. (1992) Family violence: An overview. Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect. 

This thirty-page government document deftly investigates and assess various problems linked to child neglect and child abuse. It was created in order to shed light on the issue of child victimization and abuse and the various interventions and prevention efforts that are implemented in order to address this serious issue. The document explores various topics, including: how to accurately define juvenile neglect and child abuse; why child neglect and abuse occurs on a frequent basis; how pervasive the problem of child neglect and abuse is in the United States despite underreporting of incidents; how observes can recognize cases in which domestic violence and child neglect is occurring; how to help juveniles who are subject to child abuse; how to report incidents of witnessed or suspected child abuse and/or neglect; how the federal government assists both local and state governments in efforts to protect children from child abuse and/or neglect; the procedure for reporting incidents to state officials and agencies; an overview of national resource and research centers; and an outline of further resources individuals can look to in order to gain a nuanced understanding of the problem of child abuse both at the local and national levels. Child abuse is clearly a national issue that the federal government seeks to address through various means by offering resources at the local and national levels and disseminating information so that people living in the United States. This government resource contributes a wealth of information regarding child abuse by sketching out the decision-making process; interventions and preventative measures taken by the government; and discussing the facets of child abuse and the process that must be taken when incidents of child abuse and/or neglect are suspected or witnessed. This source will contribute to a preventative educational approach to combating child abuse and neglect. It clearly stresses the currency of preventative education starting when young children are old enough to grasp the concept of abusive behaviors, especially when such behaviors are exhibited by their family members. Children need to be armed with the knowledge and skills to be able to maintain their own health and well-being. This report also underscores the integral role the community at-large plays in dealing with the issue of child abuse, especially in the case of sexual abuse and incest. The report calls for the cultivation of a community environment in which children who are victims of sexual abuse, violence, and/or neglect feel comfortable enough to report the abuse they endured immediately rather than wait years as they mature into young adults. Children who are made aware of what constitutes abuse such as inappropriate touching by an adult are more likely to avoid becoming victims of sexual assault. This report could have been improved if it included more quantitative data and specifics regarding preventative education, such as in what contexts do child education abuse take place and research that justifies its effectiveness in overall reports of child abuse.

Cross, T. P., & Casanueva, C. (2009). Caseworker judgments and substantiation. Child Maltreatment, 14(1), 38-52.

A large portion of the literature on child abuse focuses on risk-assessment and decision making by caseworkers in instances of reported child abuse. Cross and Casanueva (2009) note that substantiation (decision rendered by DHHS that holds an individual responsible for a child that is severely abused) can significantly impact what types of interventions are utilized for any children suspected of being victims of abuse and dictates how involved the family of an abused child is involved with children welfare services. Such judgments are rendered despite the fact that researchers have attested to the fact that there is a general lack of knowledge regarding how or under what circumstances the decision to substantiate is. Substantiation is subjective process in which a welfare official determines whether or not a child is abused enough to be considered maltreated, which itself is a flawed precept. The others administered a national probability study of 4,515 juveniles investigated for abuse by analyzing how caseworkers made judgments regarding risk, harm and evidence and what types of judgments and observations were predictors of substantiation. They ascertained the substantiation rate in instances of child maltreatment hovered around 29.9%, although a large portion of the cases were substantiated when two caseworkers noted that the victim experienced moderate harm and moderate risk with ample evidence. Every caseworker judgment emerged as a key variable that profoundly forecasted substantiation within a multivariable paradigm, and evidence emerged as the strongest predictor. Other important predictors include the gender and age of the juvenile victim beyond the main categories of risk, evidence, and harm, thereby indicating that other caseworker judgements impacted substantiation. Results of this study indicate that in nine out of one hundred cases, reports of child abuse lacked substantiation even if moderate to severe harm was noted by the caseworker. As such, the authors concluded that the decision of substantiation is primarily predicated on caseworker judgments of risk, harm, and evidence. These qualitative and quantitative findings underscore prior conclusions researchers have arrived at that substantiation remains flawed in accurately measuring child abuse and violence, thereby insinuating that practices and policies correlated to substantiation are necessary in order for more effective evaluations and assessments at the state level for children welfare agencies and caseworkers.  The results of this study thus pinpoint the dire necessity for the improvement of risk-assessment members in all cases of suspected child abuse, as systemic flaws remain. It directly addresses the flaws in the decision-making process and risk management barometers that must be changed in order to better prevent future incidents of child abuse and/or neglect.

Jonson-Reid, M., Emery, C. R., Drake, B., & Stahlschmidt, M. J. (2010). Understanding chronically reported families. Child Maltreatment, 15(4), 271-281.

While there is a strong corpus of literature on child abuse and child maltreatment that has been reported multiple times, the majority of that extant literature often fails to report multiple incidents that take place. Indeed, there are various studies that attest to the strengths of the current system in predicting the first incident of child abuse. Chronic abuse that manifests in re-reporting—which means that reported incidents of abuse extend beyond the second report—is scanty in the extant literature. Johnson-Reid et al. (2010) analyze reports of child abuse that extend beyond the second case to ascertain which factors forecast so-called downstream reports of chronic abuse.  They utilize both longitudinal and cross sector data such as census information, child welfare information, birth records, death records, hospital records, welfare services information, and prison records, amongst other types of demographic records, in order to glean information about predictors of chronic child abuse by analyzing and assess predictors present in the various recurrences of reported child abuse: first report to the second, second report to the third one, etc. Regarding the methodology of this study, the authors gathered data from longitudinal studies on the various services and outcomes for juveniles that who reported maltreatment in the Midwest region. The children all lived in the metropolitan area, thereby leaving out children growing up in the rural countryside. All of the participants were born between 1982 and 1994 and were under twelve years of age when they were sampled for the initial study. Children who died  within a week of the initial report were not included in the original study. In addition, participants who did not experience neglect, physical, or sexual abuse were also not included. Thus, the sample used was quite limited in terms of age and demographic location of the participants who were studied over several years.  The authors examined two groups in this study: one low-income group, determined by the participant’s involvement in the Aid for Dependent Children, and one group in which the children did not come from low-income families. Their findings suggest that some predictors such as tract poverty that aided in the prediction of the first re-reporting lost their predictive currency during the later stages of chronic child abuse, while other facts such as assistance to families that have dependent children were still pertinent beyond the second recurrence. Both mental health treatment and child welfare services that were in-home, according to the authors, persist as predictors that help social workers, psychologists, and other medical personnel predict reduced recurrence. Due to the lack of studies on re-reporting incidents of child abuse, the results yielded by this study are quite exploratory in nature. Moreover, it fails to clearly address whether or not various types of maltreatment services played a role in predicting repeated incidents of child abuse in the future. The researchers only focused on children that were ten years old confined in a particular geographical area, so other studies are necessary to ascertain whether this study is representative of all cities and rural areas in the United States. A more encompassing study would  allow researchers to compare results from different locales and isolate certain environmental factors that may account for discrepancies between two different states or cities. Future research is needed to multiply attest to the conclusions drawn in this study regarding repeat incidents of child abuse.

Moulding, N. T., Buchanan, F., & Wendt, S. (2015). Untangling self-blame and mother-blame in women’s and children’s Perspectives on Maternal Protectiveness in Domestic Violence: Implications for Practice. Child Abuse Review, 24: 249–260.

The majority of literature on child abuse focuses on preventative practices and interventions; predictors of child abuse and/or neglect; governmental efforts at the local state and national levels to combat increasing incidents of child abuse; and risk assessment and decision-making regarding the categorization of child maltreatment. In addition, existing research and studies conducted on the role of mothers in protecting their children in the case of domestic violence have primarily focused on the experiences of children growing up in volatile, unsteady homes marred by domestic violence or on the experiences of women who mother children within a home where domestic violence is a common feature. Moulding et al. (2015) provide a qualitative study that examines why mothers and persons who experienced domestic violence and seeks to investigate various experiences of and perspectives on motherly protectiveness in the two aforementioned groups. They deployed a feminist social constructionist theoretical framework in conjunction with a methodology structured by relational empowerment that necessitated one-on-one interviews with sixteen victims of child abuse and nine mothers who endured domestic violence on a frequent basis. The authors used a methodology that is highly theoretical in nature and based on a social construction perspective based in feminist theory to stress how language occupies  significant place in how women perceive themselves and how they construct a reality around them. In this study, the authors consider how women construct their protectiveness of  their children as mothers in domestic violence. In addition, they forged strong relationships with the participants in an interview setting, paying close attention to the emotions they articulated and the narratives they presented regarding their personal experiences with domestic violence and child abuse. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and based on a tentative question guide that was flexible. As such, each participant was treated on an individual basis, and questions were raised according to what the interviewer viewed as important. Questions ranged from questioning mothers how domestic abuse affected the mother-child relationship and how mothers viewed their role as protectors and what barriers they viewed were present that hindered their ability to protect their child. Interview transcripts were used to draw conclusions.Through a thematic analysis, the authors ascertained various ways that the children and mothers broached the question of why mothers failed to shield their children from child abuse for a protracted period of time. Themes of mothers’ self-blaming and children blaming their mothers for failing to protect them in domestic violence contexts were not uncommon. Three primary categories emerged that revealed the various ways that child abuse victims and mothers of victims constructed blame: guilt and self blame; centering female characteristics; and the double bind of safeguarding. This source provides nuance to a scholarly analysis on child abuse by providing a socio-cultural analysis of the issue and a more theoretical discussion of child abuse its impact of family dynamics and relationships. The authors examine various discourses on gender related to femininity and mother that chart practices of both maternal-blame and self-blame and provide an elaboration of the so-called double bind of protection that mothers are confronted with. In addition, the authors consider how practitioners working with victims of domestic abuse and violence help bolster relationships between child victims and their mothers while concurrently protecting children and shielding them from chronic abuse. Practitioners play a significant role in mending strained relations between abused children and their mothers, whom they primarily blame for the abuse they endured. This study could have been improved if the sample was larger so that it would be more representative of trends across the United States. Moreover, the flexibility of the question guide casts some doubt on the results yielded because there is no uniform baseline with which to present the results in.

References

Chou, S., Rashad. I, and Grossman, Grossman, M. (2008). Fast-food restaurant advertising on television and its influence on childhood obesity. Journal and Law and Economics, 51(4), 599-618.

Eat right: Media guide. (2013). Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Accessed September 22, 2015 from http://www.eatright.org.

Root, W.L. & Rochemont, R. (1976). Eating in America: a history. New York: Morrow

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