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Child Abuse and neglect in Military and Civilian Families

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 8 Issue: 1 Dated: (1984) Pages: 55-67
R A Dubanoski; S R McIntosh
Date Published
13 pages
This study compared data on documented cases of child abuse and neglect among military and civilian families in Hawaii from January 1978 to February 1981.
There were 2,172 confirmed cases of abuse and 1,107 cases of neglect during the study period. Of these, military families accounted for 357 abuse cases and 170 neglect cases. The absence of accurate data on the general military population in Hawaii prevented determining whether child abuse and neglect was disproportionately present among military families compared to the general population. For both military and civilian families, data were obtained on referral sources, type of maltreatment, victim and perpetrator characteristics, and family stress factors. Loss of control and lack of tolerance were two major reasons given for abuse by military perpetrators. The stresses of family discord, a new baby, continuous child care, relocation, and isolation were also significant factors in child abuse among military families. The stress of a broken family was a more important correlate of abuse in civilian than in military cases. For other kinds of stresses, such as family discord and isolation, there was no distinct significance between military and civilian families. Although special attention should be given to the unique stress factors that impact military families, many programs developed for the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect in the civilian sector may be appropriate for military families, given similar patterns and correlates of abuse and neglect. 11 tables and 12 references.


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