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PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN - CAUSES AND TREATMENT

NCJ Number
49688
Author(s)
D R WALTERS
Date Published
1975
Length
204 pages
Annotation
THE PROBLEM OF CHILD ABUSE IN THE UNITED STATES IS EXAMINED, WITH EMPHASIS ON PREVENTION AND ON TREATMENT OF ABUSING ADULTS AND ABUSED CHILDREN.
Abstract
THE DISCUSSION IS DIRECTED TO PROFESSIONALS -- PHYSICIANS, PSYCHOLOGISTS, SOCIAL WORKERS, AND OTHERS -- WHO DEAL WITH ABUSE SITUATIONS, AS WELL AS TO ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS. THE DIFFERENCES IN ETIOLOGY BETWEEN SEXUAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSE ARE STRESSED, AS ARE THE SHORTCOMINGS OF EXISTING TREATMENT AND REPORTING SYSTEMS. THE CENTRAL THESIS IS THAT CHILD ABUSE IS ROOTED IN THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF DENIGRATING CHILDREN AND INSTITUTIONALIZING VIOLENCE, AND THAT MOST ABUSERS ARE REPEATING CHILD-REARING PATTERNS THEY THEMSELVES EXPERIENCED AS CHILDREN. THE PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF DIAGNOSING AND TREATING CHILD ABUSE ARE EMPHASIZED, AND A TYPOLOGY OF PHYSICAL ABUSERS OF CHILDREN IS PROVIDED. THE INADEQUACY OF TRADITIONAL THERAPEUTIC METHODS IS POINTED OUT, AND ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES (GROUP TREATMENT, DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE, NONABUSIVE COPING MECHANISMS FOR PARENTS) ARE SUGGESTED. A SEPARATE DISCUSSION OF THE CAUSES AND TREATMENT OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN IS PROVIDED. THE DISCUSSION CLOSES WITH AN EXAMINATION OF ALTERNATIVES FOR CHANGE. THE NEED TO ELEVATE THE STATUS OF CHILDREN IN SOCIETY AND TO OBSERVE THEIR RIGHTS IS IDENTIFIED. TOWARD THIS END, SHORT-RANGE, INTERMEDIATE, AND LONG-RANGE GOALS ARE SUGGESTED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)