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Determinants of Placement for Sexually Abused Children

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1990
10 pages
While conducting a prospective study of 100 sexually abused children, we found a much higher rate of out-of-home placement than has been previously described for child maltreatment.
This study was designed to determine which factors were most influential in predicting the placement experiences of this cohort. The children, ages 6-17 years, were recently substantiated victims of intrafamilial sexual abuse whose parents or guardians permitted study involvement. We examined child and family demographics, abuse characteristics, and family response as possible determinants of immediate and later placement. At the initial assessment, within a few weeks of the disclosure, 50 percent of the children had already been removed. A follow-up assessment of 83 children two years later revealed that 73 percent had been removed from the abusing home. In a multivariate regression model, only maternal support of the child emerged as a significant predictor of immediate placement and placement over time. The offender's status as a resident in the child's home was an important predictor of the need for placement but was not significant as a predictors of all placements at any time. As maternal support is an important predictor of the need for placement, workers are encouraged to seek ways of enhancing maternal support as a means of reducing placement. 4 tables, 1 figure, 31 references. (Author abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1990