Child abuse or neglect

Abuse or neglect of young children has been shown to have a dramatic effect on later childhood and adult outcomes. Early experiences powerfully shape the developing brain and can have both immediate and lifelong impact on health and well-being. All areas of development are closely intertwined in the early years, so physical harm can damage emotional, social, cognitive and language development. Mistreated children often have developmental delays that could contribute to lower school readiness (Veltman & Browne 2001). 

Parent education programs have shown some promise in reducing the risk for child abuse. Parent education programs may help parents change their behaviors in positive ways, which can improve the quality of life for parents and their children. As the goal is to minimize frequency, a decrease in incidents of child abuse or neglect is considered positive. To track data on this outcome measure, programs should collect participant data at intake/enrollment; at 3, 6, or 12 months after point of enrollment; and at termination/exit.


Work Cited

Veltman, M. W. M., & Browne, K. D. (2001). Three decades of child maltreatment research. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 2, 215-239.

Barth, Richard P. (2009). Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect with Parent Training: Evidence and Opportunities. The Future of Children, 19(2), 95-118.

Klevens, J., & Whittaker, D.J. (2007). Primary prevention of child physical abuse and neglect: Gaps and promising directions. Child Maltreatment, 12(4), 364-77.