Child abuse is a complex social problem confronting society, and the alarming number of reported and substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect has prompted some observers to refer to the problem as reaching epidemic proportions in the United States.
Research on child abuse and neglect is reviewed that covers the link between child abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquency and youth violence. Six research needs are highlighted that warrant more attention: consequences of child abuse and neglect by gender and race-ethnicity, neglected children, the role of the juvenile justice system in processing and handling child abuse and neglect cases, the role of criminal sanctions in child abuse and neglect cases, effects on children of witnessing violence in the home and the community, and protective factors or intervention experiences. The author concludes that, while research in the field of child abuse and neglect has made substantial methodological and theoretical progress over the last 20 years, the field remains in the early stages of development. The author identifies a critical need for more research on the consequences of and the prevention of child abuse and neglect. 110 references and 2 tables
Date Published: January 1, 2001