Document Detail

Treatment of child abuse: a review of the behavioral interventions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7118758     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Child abuse has probably existed as a social problem as long as parents and children have lived under the same roof, and in recent years it has received tremendous attention. Most of the research has focused on etiology rather than treatment, leaving large gaps in our knowledge about remediating abuse. Behavioral scientists have only begun to formulate a conceptual framework from which to work. Many theoretical questions are yet unanswered, particularly the question of what constitutes abuse. Burgess (1978) believes that conceptual problems exist because abuse falls along a continuum of parent-child relationships--a continuum that at one end might include verbal punishment (e.g., threats, ridicule) or milder forms of physical punishment (e.g., slap on the hand, spanking), and at the other end include extreme forms of physical punishment that exceed community mores (for example, hitting a child with a closed fist, scalding a child in hot water, torturing or killing a child). Thus, the question-- where does discipline stop and abuse begin?-- faces every researcher who must operationally define abuse. Identifying the consequences of abuse in a child's development is another area of inquiry that remains untreated. Most of the literature is filled with the subjective impressions of professionals speculating that abused children become the juvenile delinquents and the child abusers of the future; however, as yet no longitudinal studies have been conducted that compare the developmental outcomes of abused and non-abused children from early childhood to later adulthood. What if there were no differences? How might this influence our approaches to the treatment of abuse? Answers to these and other questions will take years of study. Increased awareness of the problem of child abuse has led to greater efforts to remediate the problem. Treatment efforts with abusive families are still in the initial stages, but, undoubtedly, information from these early programs can be the foundation for future researchers to formulate new, more effective intervention programs. Future researchers should focus on identifying those aspects of existing programs that lend themselves to empirical study and have led to more successful parent-child relationships.
C D Isaacs
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of applied behavior analysis     Volume:  15     ISSN:  0021-8855     ISO Abbreviation:  J Appl Behav Anal     Publication Date:  1982  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1982-12-02     Completed Date:  1982-12-02     Revised Date:  2010-09-13    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0174763     Medline TA:  J Appl Behav Anal     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  273-94     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Behavior Therapy / methods*
Child Abuse / prevention & control*
Child Behavior Disorders / therapy
Child Rearing
Family Therapy / methods
Generalization (Psychology)
Parent-Child Relations
Referral and Consultation
Grant Support

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