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Child Maltreatment

Impact factor: 2.589 5-Year impact factor: 3.135 Print ISSN: 1077-5595 Publisher: Sage Publications

Subjects: Family Studies, Social Work

Most recent papers:

  • Structured Trauma-Focused CBT and Unstructured Play/Experiential Techniques in the Treatment of Sexually Abused Children: A Field Study With Practicing Clinicians.
    Allen, B., Hoskowitz, N. A.
    Child Maltreatment. December 09, 2016

    Structured, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques are widely considered an effective intervention for children who experienced sexual abuse. However, unstructured (i.e., nondirective) play/experiential techniques have a longer history of widespread promotion and are preferred by many practicing clinicians. No evidence is available, however, to determine how the integration of these techniques impacts treatment outcome. In this study, community-based clinicians who received training in a structured, trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral intervention administered pretreatment and posttreatment evaluations to 260 sexually abused children presenting with elevated posttraumatic stress. In addition, they completed a questionnaire describing the treatment techniques implemented with each child. Overall, significant improvement was observed for each of the six clinical outcomes. Regression analyses indicated that technique selection was a significant factor in posttreatment outcome for posttraumatic stress, dissociation, anxiety, and anger/aggression. In general, a greater utilization of the structured CBT techniques was related to lower posttreatment scores, whereas a higher frequency of play/experiential techniques was associated with higher posttreatment scores. However, no interaction effects were observed. The implication of these findings for clinical practice and future research are examined.

    December 09, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516681866   open full text
  • Duration in Poverty-Related Programs and Number of Child Maltreatment Reports: A Multilevel Negative Binomial Study.
    Kim, H., Drake, B.
    Child Maltreatment. December 05, 2016

    This study examined the relationship of a family’s duration in poverty-related programs (i.e., Aid to Families with Dependent Children/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicaid) to the subject child’s number of maltreatment reports while considering race and baseline neighborhood poverty. Children from a large Midwestern metropolitan area were followed through a linked cross-sector administrative database from birth to age 15. Generalized multilevel models were employed to account for the multilevel structure of the data (i.e., nesting of families within neighborhoods). The data showed a unique and significant contribution of duration in poverty-related programs to the number of maltreatment reports. The predicted number of maltreatment reports increased by between 2.5 and 3.7 times, as duration in poverty-related programs increased from 0 to 9 years. This relationship was consistent between Whites and non-Whites (over 98% Black), but non-Whites showed a significantly lower number of total maltreatment reports while controlling for duration in poverty-related programs. We were unable to find a significant association between child maltreatment reports and baseline neighborhood poverty.

    December 05, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516679512   open full text
  • Rethinking the Measurement of Adversity: Moving Toward Second-Generation Research on Adverse Childhood Experiences.
    Mersky, J. P., Janczewski, C. E., Topitzes, J.
    Child Maltreatment. December 05, 2016

    Research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) has unified the study of interrelated risks and generated insights into the origins of disorder and disease. Ten indicators of child maltreatment and household dysfunction are widely accepted as ACEs, but further progress requires a more systematic approach to conceptualizing and measuring ACEs. Using data from a diverse, low-income sample of women who received home visiting services in Wisconsin (N = 1,241), this study assessed the prevalence of and interrelations among 10 conventional ACEs and 7 potential ACEs: family financial problems, food insecurity, homelessness, parental absence, parent/sibling death, bullying, and violent crime. Associations between ACEs and two outcomes, perceived stress and smoking, were examined. The factor structure and test–retest reliability of ACEs was also explored. As expected, prevalence rates were high compared to studies of more representative samples. Except for parent/sibling death, all ACEs were intercorrelated and associated at the bivariate level with perceived stress and smoking. Exploratory factor analysis confirmed that conventional ACEs loaded on two factors, child maltreatment and household dysfunction, though a more complex four-factor solution emerged once new ACEs were introduced. All ACEs demonstrated acceptable test–retest reliability. Implications and future directions toward a second generation of ACE research are discussed.

    December 05, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516679513   open full text
  • The Impact of Foster Parent Training on Parenting Skills and Child Disruptive Behavior: A Meta-Analysis.
    Solomon, D. T., Niec, L. N., Schoonover, C. E.
    Child Maltreatment. November 30, 2016

    Children in foster care are at risk for behavioral and emotional problems that require higher levels of care than other children. To meet these needs and reduce placement disruptions, foster parents require effective parenting skills. Although a number of training models have been evaluated, the findings on the efficacy of foster parent training (FPT) are mixed. We conducted a meta-analysis of the FPT outcome research from 1984 to 2014 to develop a clearer understanding of the impact of such trainings. Fifteen samples (16 studies) were identified that investigated the impact of FPT on self-reported parenting skills and knowledge and child problem behaviors. The mean effect size for child disruptive behavior using a random effects model was small but significant at –.20 (95% confidence interval [CI] = [–.39, –.01], Z = 2.05, p < .05), suggesting that, on average, foster parents who were involved in the trainings reported fewer child behavior problems than parents who did not receive the training. The mean effect size for parenting was moderate and significant at .52 (95% CI = [.22, .82], Z = 3.38, p < .05), indicating that, on average, parents in the treatment groups reported higher levels of skills and knowledge following training than did those in the control group. While these results are promising, more research is necessary to investigate the inconsistency in effect sizes across studies.

    November 30, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516679514   open full text
  • A Technology-Mediated Approach to the Implementation of an Evidence-Based Child Maltreatment Prevention Program.
    Self-Brown, S. R., C. Osborne, M., Rostad, W., Feil, E.
    Child Maltreatment. November 11, 2016

    Implementation of evidence-based parenting programs is critical for parents at-risk for child maltreatment perpetration; however, widespread use of effective programs is limited in both child welfare and prevention settings. This exploratory study sought to examine whether a technology-mediated approach to SafeCare® delivery can feasibly assist newly trained providers in achieving successful implementation outcomes. Thirty-one providers working in child welfare or high-risk prevention settings were randomized to either SafeCare Implementation with Technology-Assistance (SC-TA) or SafeCare Implementation as Usual (SC-IU). SC-TA providers used a web-based program during session that provided video-based psychoeducation and modeling directly to parents and overall session guidance to providers. Implementation outcome data were collected from providers for six months. Data strongly supported the feasibility of SC-TA. Further, data indicated that SC-TA providers spent significantly less time on several activities in preparation, during, and in follow-up to SafeCare sessions compared to SC-IU providers. No differences were found between the groups with regard to SafeCare fidelity and certification status. Findings suggest that technology can augment implementation by reducing the time and training burden associated with implementing new evidence-based practices for at-risk families.

    November 11, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516678482   open full text
  • A Multisource Approach to Assessing Child Maltreatment From Records, Caregivers, and Children.
    Sierau, S., Brand, T., Manly, J. T., Schlesier-Michel, A., Klein, A. M., Andreas, A., Garzon, L. Q., Keil, J., Binser, M. J., von Klitzing, K., White, L. O.
    Child Maltreatment. October 26, 2016

    Practitioners and researchers alike face the challenge that different sources report inconsistent information regarding child maltreatment. The present study capitalizes on concordance and discordance between different sources and probes applicability of a multisource approach to data from three perspectives on maltreatment—Child Protection Services (CPS) records, caregivers, and children. The sample comprised 686 participants in early childhood (3- to 8-year-olds; n = 275) or late childhood/adolescence (9- to 16-year-olds; n = 411), 161 from two CPS sites and 525 from the community oversampled for psychosocial risk. We established three components within a factor-analytic approach: the shared variance between sources on presence of maltreatment (convergence), nonshared variance resulting from the child’s own perspective, and the caregiver versus CPS perspective. The shared variance between sources was the strongest predictor of caregiver- and self-reported child symptoms. Child perspective and caregiver versus CPS perspective mainly added predictive strength of symptoms in late childhood/adolescence over and above convergence in the case of emotional maltreatment, lack of supervision, and physical abuse. By contrast, convergence almost fully accounted for child symptoms for failure to provide. Our results suggest consistent information from different sources reporting on maltreatment is, on average, the best indicator of child risk.

    October 26, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516675724   open full text
  • The Relationship Between Childrens Age and Disclosures of Sexual Abuse During Forensic Interviews.
    Leach, C., Powell, M. B., Sharman, S. J., Anglim, J.
    Child Maltreatment. October 26, 2016

    Children’s disclosures of sexual abuse during forensic interviews are fundamental to the investigation of cases. Research examining the relationship between age and disclosure has shown mixed results; the aim of the current study was to clarify and extend our knowledge by modeling linear, quadratic, and interaction effects of age on disclosure. Child sexual abuse reports made by children, their caregivers, or mandated reporters over a 12-month period to police in one state of Australia were examined. Of the 527 children (age range 3–16 years) offered a forensic interview, 81% disclosed abuse during it. The other 19% did not disclose or refused the interview. Age had both linear and quadratic effects, whereby disclosure increased with age until 11 years, after which disclosure decreased with age to 16 years. The effect of age on disclosure was moderated by five variables: abuse severity, the child–suspect relationship, suspects’ violence histories, delay of report to police, and children’s previous disclosures. Particular groups of children had lower likelihoods of disclosing abuse in forensic interviews than others, such as adolescents who alleged abuse against suspects with histories of violent offending. By identifying these groups, targeted strategies may be developed to help increase their disclosure rates.

    October 26, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516675723   open full text
  • Concordance Between Self-Reported Childhood Maltreatment Versus Case Record Reviews for Child Welfare-Affiliated Adolescents: Prevalence Rates and Associations With Outcomes.
    Negriff, S., Schneiderman, J. U., Trickett, P. K.
    Child Maltreatment. October 24, 2016

    The present study used data from an ongoing longitudinal study of the effects of maltreatment on adolescent development to (1) describe rates of maltreatment experiences obtained from retrospective self-report versus case record review for adolescents with child welfare–documented maltreatment histories, (2) examine self-reported versus child welfare–identified maltreatment in relation to mental health and risk behavior outcomes by maltreatment type, and (3) examine the association between the number of different types of maltreatment and mental health and risk behavior outcomes. Maltreatment was coded from case records using the Maltreatment Case Record Abstraction Instrument (MCRAI) and participants were asked at mean age = 18.49 about childhood maltreatment experiences using the Comprehensive Trauma Interview (CTI). Results showed that an average of 48% of maltreatment found by the MCRAI for each type of maltreatment were unique cases not captured by the CTI, whereas an average of 40% self-reported maltreatment (CTI) was not indicated by the MCRAI. Analyses with outcomes showed generally, self-reported maltreatment, regardless of concordance with MCRAI, was related to the poorest outcomes. The difference in associations with the outcomes indicates both self-report and case record review data may have utility depending on the outcomes being assessed.

    October 24, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516674596   open full text
  • Child Maltreatment and Risky Sexual Behavior: Indirect Effects Through Trauma Symptoms and Substance Use.
    Thompson, R., Lewis, T., Neilson, E. C., English, D. J., Litrownik, A. J., Margolis, B., Proctor, L., Dubowitz, H.
    Child Maltreatment. October 24, 2016

    Risky sexual behavior is a serious public health problem. Child sexual abuse is an established risk factor, but other forms of maltreatment appear to elevate risky behavior. The mechanisms by which child maltreatment influence risk are not well understood. This study used data from 859 high-risk youth, followed through age 18. Official reports of each form of maltreatment were coded. At age 16, potential mediators (trauma symptoms and substance use) were assessed. At age 18, risky sexual behavior (more than four partners, unprotected sex, unassertiveness in sexual refusal) was assessed. Neglect significantly predicted unprotected sex. Substance use predicted unprotected sex and four or more partners but did not mediate the effects of maltreatment. Trauma symptoms predicted unprotected sex and mediated effects of emotional maltreatment on unprotected sex and on assertiveness in sexual refusal and the effects of sexual abuse on unprotected sex. Both neglect and emotional maltreatment emerged as important factors in risky sexual behavior. Trauma symptoms appear to be an important pathway by which maltreatment confers risk for risky sexual behavior. Interventions to reduce risky sexual behavior should include assessment and treatment for trauma symptoms and for history of child maltreatment in all its forms.

    October 24, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516674595   open full text
  • The Effects of the Hypothetical Putative Confession and Negatively Valenced Yes/No Questions on Maltreated and Nonmaltreated Childrens Disclosure of a Minor Transgression.
    Stolzenberg, S. N., McWilliams, K., Lyon, T. D.
    Child Maltreatment. October 17, 2016

    This study examined the effects of the hypothetical putative confession (telling children "What if I said that [the suspect] told me everything that happened and he said he wants you to tell the truth?") and negatively valenced yes/no questions varying in their explicitness ("Did the [toy] break?" vs. "Did something bad happen to the [toy]?") on two hundred and six 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children’s reports, half of whom had experienced toy breakage and had been admonished to keep the breakage a secret. The hypothetical putative confession increased the likelihood that children disclosed breakage without increasing false reports. The yes/no questions elicited additional disclosures of breakage but also some false reports. The less explicit questions (referencing "something bad") were as effective in eliciting true reports as the questions explicitly referencing breakage. Pairing affirmative answers to the yes/no questions with recall questions asking for elaboration allowed for better discrimination between true and false reports. The results suggest promising avenues for interviewers seeking to increase true disclosures without increasing false reports.

    October 17, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516673734   open full text
  • Concordance of Parent- and Child-Reported Physical Abuse Following Child Protective Services Investigation.
    Kobulsky, J. M., Kepple, N. J., Holmes, M. R., Hussey, D. L.
    Child Maltreatment. October 13, 2016

    Knowledge about the concordance of parent- and child-reported child physical abuse is scarce, leaving researchers and practitioners with little guidance on the implications of selecting either informant. Drawing from a 2008–2009 sample of 11- to 17-year-olds (N = 636) from Wave 1 of the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, this study first examined parent–child concordance in physical abuse reporting (Parent–Child Conflict Tactic Scale). Second, it applied multivariate regression analysis to relate parent–child agreement in physical abuse to parent-reported (Child Behavior Checklist) and child-reported (Youth Self Report) child behavioral problems. Results indicate low parent–child concordance of physical abuse ( = .145). Coreporting of physical abuse was related to clinical-level parent-reported externalizing problems (y{macron} = 64.57), whereas child-only reports of physical abuse were the only agreement category related to child-reported internalizing problems (B = 4.17, p < .001). Attribution bias theory may further understanding of reporting concordance and its implications.

    October 13, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516673156   open full text
  • Psychometric Evaluation of the Comprehensive Trauma Interview PTSD Symptoms Scale Following Exposure to Child Maltreatment.
    Shenk, C. E., Noll, J. G., Griffin, A. M., Allen, E. K., Lee, S. E., Lewkovich, K. L., Allen, B.
    Child Maltreatment. September 22, 2016

    The current study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Comprehensive Trauma Interview Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms Scale (CTI-PSS), a novel method of assessing PTSD symptoms following exposure to a range of child adversities in the child maltreatment population. A sample of female adolescents (n = 343) exposed to substantiated child sexual abuse and a nonmaltreated comparison condition completed the CTI-PSS and other established measures to assess internal consistency, factor structure, test discriminability as well as convergent, discriminant, and incremental validities. Results demonstrated that the CTI-PSS is a reliable and valid measure of PTSD symptoms with good discriminability and a factor structure that fits existing conceptualizations of the PTSD construct. It also demonstrated strong convergence with an established measure of PTSD symptoms and explained unique variance in the prediction of child sexual abuse status. Overall, the CTI-PSS appears to be a useful instrument for assessing PTSD symptoms in the child maltreatment population.

    September 22, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516669253   open full text
  • Associations Between Maltreatment History and Severity of Substance Use Behavior in Youth in Foster Care.
    Gabrielli, J., Jackson, Y., Brown, S.
    Child Maltreatment. September 22, 2016

    Substance use (SU) in youth remains a significant public health concern and a risk factor for morbidity and mortality in adolescents. The present study offers examination of the association between severity and chronicity of maltreatment history and SU in youth in foster care. Two hundred and ten (48% female) foster youth with a mean age of 12.71 years (SD = 2.95 years) completed surveys using an audio-computer-assisted self-interview program. Results revealed 31% of participants reported past-year SU, and substance users had a mean CRAFFT score of 3.43 (SD = 1.90). Reported age of SU onset was 11.08 years (SD = 2.21 years). The SU measurement model demonstrated excellent fit in this sample. Accounting for both youth age and youth placement type, the structural model with maltreatment predicting SU severity demonstrated strong model fit with a significant path between maltreatment and SU. Youth in residential facilities and older youth had higher rates of use than those residing in traditional foster home environments and younger youth. Findings provide additional support for the link between maltreatment experiences and SU severity in foster youth and suggest the need for screening and intervention services appropriate for this high-risk population.

    September 22, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516669443   open full text
  • Promoting First Relationships(R): Randomized Trial of a 10-Week Home Visiting Program With Families Referred to Child Protective Services.
    Oxford, M. L., Spieker, S. J., Lohr, M. J., Fleming, C. B.
    Child Maltreatment. September 19, 2016

    We conducted a community-based randomized control trial with intent-to-treat analysis on Promoting First Relationships® (PFR), a 10-week home visiting program. The study included 247 families with 10- to 24-month-old children who had a recent, open child protective services investigation of child maltreatment. Families were randomly assigned to receive either the 10-week home visiting PFR service or a telephone-based, three-call resource and referral (R&R) service. Across postintervention time points, parents in the PFR condition scored higher than families in the R&R condition in parent understanding of toddlers’ social emotional needs (d = .35) and observed parental sensitivity (d = .20). Children in the PFR condition scored lower than children in the comparison condition on an observational measure of atypical affective communication (d = .19) and were less likely than children in the comparison group to be placed into foster care through 1-year postintervention (6% vs. 13%, p = .042). No significant differences were found on measures of parenting stress or child social–emotional competence, behavior problems, or secure base behavior. Overall, the results show support for the promise of PFR as an intervention for enhancing parent sensitivity and preventing child removals for families in the child welfare system.

    September 19, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516668274   open full text
  • Maternal Social Information Processing and the Frequency and Severity of Mother-Perpetrated Physical Abuse.
    Azar, S. T., Miller, E. A., McGuier, D. J., Stevenson, M. T., ODonnell, E., Olsen, N., Spence, N.
    Child Maltreatment. September 13, 2016

    The frequency and severity of physical abuse influences children’s outcomes, yet little theory-based research has explored what predicts its course. This study examined the potential role of social information processing (SIP) factors in the course of abuse. Mothers with histories of perpetrating physical abuse (N = 62) completed measures of SIP, and the frequency and severity of mother-perpetrated physical abuse were collected from Child Protection Services records. Poorer problem-solving capacities were significantly related to greater frequency of physical abuse. Hostile attributions toward children were positively associated with abuse severity. Controlling for demographics and co-occurrence of neglect, SIP factors together accounted for a significant proportion of variance in the frequency of physical abuse, but not severity. With the exception of unrealistic expectations, preliminary evidence supported a link between maternal SIP and the course of abuse perpetration. Future research directions and implications for intervention are discussed.

    September 13, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516668047   open full text
  • Who Are the Men Caring for Maltreated Youth? Male Primary Caregivers in the Child Welfare System.
    Ayer, L., Woldetsadik, M. A., Malsberger, R., Burgette, L. F., Kohl, P. L.
    Child Maltreatment. August 23, 2016

    The goal of this study is to better understand the characteristics of men who act as primary caregivers of maltreated children. We examined differences between male primary caregivers (fathers) for youth involved in the child welfare system and female primary caregivers (mothers). We conducted secondary data analyses of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being-II baseline data. Overall, primary caregiving fathers and mothers were more similar than different, though a few differences were revealed. Compared to mothers, fathers tended to be older and were more likely to be employed, with a higher household income and older children. Fathers and mothers did not differ in terms of depression or parenting behavior, but there was evidence that mothers have more problems with drug use compared to fathers. Compared to fathers, mothers reported higher levels of internalizing and externalizing problems in their children. Children with male primary caregivers were more likely to have experienced physical abuse but less likely to have experienced emotional abuse or witnessed domestic violence than children with female primary caregivers. These findings may help to inform researchers, practitioners, and policy makers on how to address the needs of male caregivers and their children.

    August 23, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516664985   open full text
  • Baseline Functioning and Stress Reactivity in Maltreating Parents and At-Risk Adults: Review and Meta-Analyses of Autonomic Nervous System Studies.
    Reijman, S., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., Hiraoka, R., Crouch, J. L., Milner, J. S., Alink, L. R. A., van IJzendoorn, M. H.
    Child Maltreatment. July 26, 2016

    We reviewed and meta-analyzed 10 studies (N = 492) that examined the association between (risk for) child maltreatment perpetration and basal autonomic activity, and 10 studies (N = 471) that examined the association between (risk for) child maltreatment and autonomic stress reactivity. We hypothesized that maltreating parents/at-risk adults would show higher basal levels of heart rate (HR) and skin conductance (SC) and lower levels of HR variability (HRV) and would show greater HR and SC stress reactivity, but blunted HRV reactivity. A narrative review showed that evidence from significance testing within and across studies was mixed. The first set of meta-analyses revealed that (risk for) child maltreatment was associated with higher HR baseline activity (g = 0.24), a possible indication of allostatic load. The second set of meta-analyses yielded no differences in autonomic stress reactivity between maltreating/at-risk participants and nonmaltreating/low-risk comparison groups. Cumulative meta-analyses showed that positive effects for sympathetic stress reactivity as a risk factor for child maltreatment were found in a few early studies, whereas each subsequently aggregated study reduced the combined effect size to a null effect, an indication of the winner’s curse. Most studies were underpowered. Future directions for research are suggested.

    July 26, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516659937   open full text
  • Intergenerational Effects of Childhood Trauma: Evaluating Pathways Among Maternal ACEs, Perinatal Depressive Symptoms, and Infant Outcomes.
    McDonnell, C. G., Valentino, K.
    Child Maltreatment. July 25, 2016

    Maternal adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been associated with negative physical and mental health outcomes in adulthood. Less is known regarding how maternal ACEs relate to perinatal depressive symptoms or the intergenerational effect of maternal childhood trauma history on birth outcomes and infant functioning. To address this gap, an at-risk sample of 398 pregnant women was recruited from Women, Infants, and Children health clinics. Participants completed a prenatal (M = 4.84 months before due date) and postnatal (M = 6.76 months after birth) assessment and provided birth outcome data. At the prenatal assessment, mothers completed an ACEs measure which assessed experiences of childhood maltreatment and household dysfunction. Self-report measures of maternal depressive symptoms were obtained at both time points. Mothers reported on infant socioemotional functioning at 6 months. Maternal ACEs predicted higher levels of prenatal depressive symptoms. Childhood maltreatment experiences, in particular, predicted higher postnatal depressive symptoms and a smaller reduction in depressive symptoms across the perinatal period. Regarding intergenerational associations, maternal childhood maltreatment directly predicted higher levels of maladaptive infant socioemotional symptoms, whereas maternal household dysfunction indirectly related to infant socioemotional symptoms through maternal age at first pregnancy and infant birth weight. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

    July 25, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516659556   open full text
  • Emotional and Sexual Correlates of Child Sexual Abuse as a Function of Self-Definition Status.
    Vaillancourt-Morel, M.-P., Godbout, N., Bedard, M. G., Charest, E., Briere, J., Sabourin, S.
    Child Maltreatment. July 13, 2016

    Among individuals defined as having been sexually abused based on legal criteria, some will self-report having been abused and some will not. Yet, the empirical correlates of self-definition status are not well studied. Different definitions of abuse may lead to varying prevalence rates and contradictory findings regarding psychological outcomes. The present study examined whether, among legally defined sexual abuse survivors, identifying oneself as having experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA) was associated with more severe abuse, negative emotional reactions toward the abuse, and current sexual reactions. A convenience sample of 1,021 French-speaking Canadians completed self-report questionnaires online. The prevalence of legally defined CSA was 21.3% in women and 19.6% in men, as compared to 7.1% in women and 3.8% in men for self-defined CSA. Among legally defined sexual abuse survivors, those who identified themselves as CSA survivors had been abused more frequently, were more likely to report a male aggressor, and more often described abuse by a parental figure than those who did not self-identify as abused. Further, self-defined CSA was associated with more negative postabuse reactions and sexual avoidance, whereas those not identifying as sexually abused were more likely to report sexual compulsion.

    July 13, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516656069   open full text
  • Testing if Social Services Prevent Fatal Child Maltreatment Among a Sample of Children Previously Known to Child Protective Services.
    Douglas, E. M.
    Child Maltreatment. July 13, 2016

    The purpose of this article was to examine the potential impact of child welfare services on the risk for fatal child maltreatment. This was conducted using a subsample of children who were identified as "prior victims" in the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System from 2008 to 2012. At the multivariate level, the analyses show that case management services act to protect children from death as do family support services, family preservation services, and foster care, but that the results vary by type of maltreatment experienced. The author recommends that before strong conclusions are drawn, additional research in this area is warranted.

    July 13, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516657890   open full text
  • Measuring Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Service Use Among Children Referred to the Child Welfare System.
    Kim, M., Garcia, A. R.
    Child Maltreatment. July 08, 2016

    This study aims to compare different approaches to measuring racial/ethnic disparities in mental health (MH) service use among a nationwide representative sample of children referred to the child welfare system and compare the magnitude and direction of potential disparities in MH service use over time. Using data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, six summary measures of disparity were implemented to quantify racial/ethnic disparities in MH service use. This study found that youth of color were less likely than their White counterparts to receive MH services. This racial/ethnic disparity was found to increase over time; however, the magnitude of the increase varied considerably across disparity measures. In addition, the estimated increases in disparity were even greater when the sample was limited to youth in need of MH services. This study shows that the same data may produce different magnitudes of disparity, depending on which metric is implemented and whether MH need is accounted for. A greater understanding of and justification for selection of methods to examine MH disparities among child welfare researchers and policy makers is warranted.

    July 08, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516656397   open full text
  • Can Parenting Intervention Prevent Cascading Effects From Placement Instability to Insecure Attachment to Externalizing Problems in Maltreated Toddlers?
    Pasalich, D. S., Fleming, C. B., Oxford, M. L., Zheng, Y., Spieker, S. J.
    Child Maltreatment. July 04, 2016

    Multiple placement changes disrupt continuity in caregiving and undermine well-being in children in child welfare. This study conducted secondary data analysis of a randomized controlled trial to examine whether a relationship-based intervention, Promoting First Relationships© (PFR), reduced risk for a maladaptive cascade from placement instability to less secure attachment to elevated externalizing problems. Participants included caregivers (birth or foster/kin) of toddlers (10–24 months) recently transitioned to their care because of child welfare placement decisions. Although main effects of PFR on security and externalizing problems were not previously observed, this study’s results revealed that PFR attenuated the association between multiple placement changes (baseline) and less security (postintervention) and that the indirect effect of placement instability on greater externalizing problems (6-month follow-up) via less security was evident only in toddlers in the comparison condition. These findings shed light on how a history of multiple caregiver changes may influence toddlers’ risk for poor adjustment in subsequent placements, and the promise of supporting caregivers through a parenting intervention to prevent such risk.

    July 04, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516656398   open full text
  • Familial Influences on Recantation in Substantiated Child Sexual Abuse Cases.
    Malloy, L. C., Mugno, A. P., Rivard, J. R., Lyon, T. D., Quas, J. A.
    Child Maltreatment. May 27, 2016

    The underlying reasons for recantation in children’s disclosure of child sexual abuse (CSA) have been debated in recent years. In the present study, we examined the largest sample of substantiated CSA cases involving recantations to date (n = 58 cases). We specifically matched those cases to 58 nonrecanters on key variables found to predict recantation in prior research (i.e., child age, alleged parent figure perpetrator, and caregiver unsupportiveness). Bivariate analyses revealed that children were less likely to recant when they were (1) initially removed from home postdisclosure and (2) initially separated from siblings postdisclosure. Multivariate analyses revealed that children were less likely to recant when family members (other than the nonoffending caregiver) expressed belief in the children’s allegations and more likely to recant when family members (other than the nonoffending caregiver) expressed disbelief in the allegations and when visitations with the alleged perpetrator were recommended at their first hearing. Results have implications for understanding the complex ways in which social processes may motivate some children to retract previous reports of sexual abuse.

    May 27, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516650936   open full text
  • Cross-Validation of the Implementation Leadership Scale (ILS) in Child Welfare Service Organizations.
    Finn, N. K., Torres, E. M., Ehrhart, M. G., Roesch, S. C., Aarons, G. A.
    Child Maltreatment. March 21, 2016

    The Implementation Leadership Scale (ILS) is a brief, pragmatic, and efficient measure that can be used for research or organizational development to assess leader behaviors and actions that actively support effective implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs). The ILS was originally validated with mental health clinicians. This study validates the ILS factor structure with providers in community-based organizations (CBOs) providing child welfare services. Participants were 214 service providers working in 12 CBOs that provide child welfare services. All participants completed the ILS, reporting on their immediate supervisor. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to examine the factor structure of the ILS. Internal consistency reliability and measurement invariance were also examined. Confirmatory factor analyses showed acceptable fit to the hypothesized first- and second-order factor structure. Internal consistency reliability was strong and there was partial measurement invariance for the first-order factor structure when comparing child welfare and mental health samples. The results support the use of the ILS to assess leadership for implementation of EBPs in child welfare organizations.

    March 21, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516638768   open full text
  • Development, CAPTA Part C Referral and Services Among Young Children in the U.S. Child Welfare System: Implications for Latino Children.
    Johnson-Motoyama, M., Moses, M., Conrad-Hiebner, A., Mariscal, E. S.
    Child Maltreatment. February 11, 2016

    Amendments made to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 2003 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act in 2004 opened the door to a promising partnership between child welfare services and early intervention (EI) agencies by requiring a referral to EI services for all children under age 3 involved in a substantiated case of child abuse, neglect, or illegal drug exposure. However, little research has been conducted to assess the implications of these policies. Using data drawn from a nationally representative study conducted in 2008–2009, we observed less than a fifth of all children in substantiated cases to receive a referral to developmental services (18.2%) approximately 5 years after the passage of the amendments. Of children in contact with the U.S. child welfare system, Hispanic children of immigrants demonstrated the greatest developmental need yet were among the least likely to receive EI services by the end of the study period. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

    February 11, 2016   doi: 10.1177/1077559516630831   open full text
  • Autonomic Reactivity to Infant Crying in Maltreating Mothers.
    Reijman, S., Alink, L. R. A., Block, L. H. C. G. C.-d., Werner, C. D., Maras, A., Rijnberk, C., IJzendoorn, M. H. v., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J.
    Child Maltreatment. May 29, 2014

    We examined autonomic reactivity to infant crying in a sample of 42 maltreating and 38 non-maltreating mothers. Exploratively, we tested if differential reactivity was related to child neglect versus the combination of neglect and abuse, and we tested whether mothers’ experiences with maltreatment in their own childhood moderated the association between their current maltreatment status and physiology. During a standardized cry paradigm, mothers listened to cry sounds of various pitches. Heart rate (HR), pre-ejection period (PEP), skin conductance levels (SCLs), and vagal tone (root mean square of successive differences [RMSSD]) were measured as indicators of underlying sympathetic and parasympathetic reactivity. The maltreating mothers showed lower SCL reactivity to the cry sounds than non-maltreating mothers. Furthermore, significant negative correlations between HR and PEP in the non-maltreating group differed from nonsignificant correlations in the maltreating group, which suggests a lack of sympathetic cardiac control in maltreating mothers. We found no differences between neglectful mothers and those who were additionally abusive. Together, our findings support the notion of sympathetic hypoarousal as a risk factor for child maltreatment, which may be indicative of disengagement in a caregiving context. Intervention programs might focus on improving maternal sensitivity to improve responsiveness to child signals.

    May 29, 2014   doi: 10.1177/1077559514538115   open full text
  • Dyadic Profiles of Parental Disciplinary Behavior and Links With Parenting Context.
    Kim, J., Lee, S. J., Taylor, C. A., Guterman, N.
    Child Maltreatment. April 17, 2014

    Using data from couples (N = 1,195) who participated in a large community-based study of families, we used maternal reports of parental discipline to examine mothers’ and fathers’ use of and patterns related to aggressive and nonviolent discipline of their 3-year-old child. First, we separately examined mothers’ and fathers’ patterns, or classes, of disciplinary behaviors. Second, we identified joint mother–father class profiles. Maternal reports indicated that the patterns among fathers and mothers were similar, but fathers were more likely to be in the low-aggression classes than mothers; and mothers were more likely to be in the high-aggression classes than fathers. Dyads in which both parents employed high levels of aggressive discipline were characterized by higher parenting stress, poorer parental relationship, and lower quality community context. The majority (81.2%) of dyads used congruent disciplinary behaviors. Discordant dyads were similar to dyads in which both parents were high in aggressive discipline, in that these groups had children with the highest levels of aggressive behavior. Implications highlight the need to target both mothers and fathers with parent education efforts to reinforce positive parenting.

    April 17, 2014   doi: 10.1177/1077559514532009   open full text
  • Maternal Childhood Maltreatment and Offspring Emotional and Behavioral Problems: Maternal and Paternal Mechanisms of Risk Transmission.
    Rijlaarsdam, J., Stevens, G. W. J. M., Jansen, P. W., Ringoot, A. P., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Hofman, A., Ayer, L., Verhulst, F. C., Hudziak, J. J., Tiemeier, H.
    Child Maltreatment. March 18, 2014

    This study examined hostility and harsh discipline of both mothers and fathers as potential mechanisms explaining the association between a maternal maltreatment history and her offspring’s internalizing and externalizing problems. Prospective data from fetal life to age 6 were collected from a total of 4,438 families participating in the Generation R Study. Maternal maltreatment was assessed during pregnancy using a self-administered questionnaire. Mothers and fathers each reported on their psychological distress and harsh discipline when the child was 3 years. Children’s internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed by parental reports and child interview at age 6. Findings from structural equation modeling showed that the association between a maternal maltreatment history and her offspring’s externalizing problems was explained by maternal hostility and harsh discipline and, at least partially, also by paternal hostility and harsh discipline. Child interview data provided support for both these indirect paths, with associations largely similar to those observed for parent reports.

    March 18, 2014   doi: 10.1177/1077559514527639   open full text
  • "Because She's One Who Listens": Children Discuss Disclosure Recipients in Forensic Interviews.
    Malloy, L. C., Brubacher, S. P., Lamb, M. E.
    Child Maltreatment. July 28, 2013

    The current study examined investigative interviews using the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Investigative Interview Protocol with 204, five- to thirteen-year-old suspected victims of child sexual abuse. The analyses focused on who children told, who they wanted (or did not want) to tell and why, their expectations about being believed, and other general motivations for disclosure. Children’s spontaneous reports as well as their responses to interviewer questions about disclosure were explored. Results demonstrated that the majority of children discussed disclosure recipients in their interviews, with 78 children (38%) explaining their disclosures. Only 15 children (7%) mentioned expectations about whether recipients would believe their disclosures. There were no differences between the types of information elicited by interviewers and those provided spontaneously, suggesting that, when interviewed in an open-ended, facilitative manner, children themselves produce informative details about their disclosure histories. Results have practical implications for professionals who interview children about sexual abuse.

    July 28, 2013   doi: 10.1177/1077559513497250   open full text
  • Maternal Overreactive Sympathetic Nervous System Responses to Repeated Infant Crying Predicts Risk for Impulsive Harsh Discipline of Infants.
    Joosen, K. J., Mesman, J., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., van IJzendoorn, M. H.
    Child Maltreatment. July 08, 2013

    Physiological reactivity to repeated infant crying was examined as a predictor of risk for harsh discipline use with 12-month-olds in a longitudinal study with 48 low-income mother–infant dyads. Physiological reactivity was measured while mothers listened to three blocks of infant cry sounds in a standard cry paradigm when their infants were 3 months old. Signs of harsh discipline use were observed during two tasks during a home visit when the infants were 12 months old. Mothers showing signs of harsh discipline (n = 10) with their 12-month-olds were compared to mothers who did not (n = 38) on their sympathetic (skin conductance levels [SCL]) and parasympathetic (respiratory sinus arrhythmia) reactivity to the cry sounds. Results showed a significant interaction effect for sympathetic reactivity only. Mean SCL of harsh-risk mothers showed a significant different response pattern from baseline to crying and onward into the recovery, suggesting that mean SCL of mothers who showed signs of harsh discipline continued to rise across the repeated bouts of cry sounds while, after an initial increase, mean SCL level of the other mothers showed a steady decline. We suggest that harsh parenting is reflected in physiological overreactivity to negative infant signals and discuss our findings from a polyvagal perspective.

    July 08, 2013   doi: 10.1177/1077559513494762   open full text
  • The Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse in Out-of-Home Care: A Comparison Between Abuse in Residential and in Foster Care.
    Euser, S., Alink, L. R. A., Tharner, A., van IJzendoorn, M. H., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J.
    Child Maltreatment. May 13, 2013

    We investigated the 2010 year prevalence of child sexual abuse (CSA) in residential and foster care and compared it with prevalence rates in the general population. We used two approaches to estimate the prevalence of CSA. First, 264 professionals working in residential or foster care (sentinels) reported CSA for the children they worked with (N = 6,281). Second, 329 adolescents staying in residential or foster care reported on their own experiences with CSA. Sentinels and adolescents were randomly selected from 82 Dutch out-of-home care facilities. We found that 3.5 per 1,000 children had been victims of CSA based on sentinel reports. In addition, 58 per 1,000 adolescents reported having experienced CSA. Results based on both sentinel report and self-report revealed higher prevalence rates in out-of-home care than in the general population, with the highest prevalence in residential care. Prevalence rates in foster care did not differ from the general population. According to our findings, children and adolescents in residential care are at increased risk of CSA compared to children in foster care. Unfortunately, foster care does not fully protect children against sexual abuse either, and thus its quality needs to be further improved.

    May 13, 2013   doi: 10.1177/1077559513489848   open full text