This study will address two interrelated and crucial aspects of research that received inadequate attention in studies of neglect: measure development and estimates of prevalence. Lacking adequate measures, few studies have attempted to estimate community prevalence rates of neglect, apart from the more general category of maltreatment. A related deficiency that this study will address is failure to obtain neglect data from the perspective of children and fathers. To address these deficiencies the investigators will develop child self-report and parent-self-report versions of the Mulit-dimensional Neglect scale. This instrument measures four dimensions of neglect: Physical, Emotional, Supervisory, and Cognitive. The resulting instruments will be used to assess the prevalence and chronicity of neglect by means of a survey of a community sample of 1000 Maine households, seeded with a clinical neglect sample of 300 families. The child self-report measure will be used with a sample of 300 children who have been assessed at a clinic specializing in child maltreatment. The resulting data will be used to assess the validity and reliability of the Multidimensional Neglect Scale and to develop normative tables that can be used to compare a given case with the general population and known cases of neglect, and to evaluate children being assessed or treated for maltreatment relative to other children in that situation. The study will also describe characteristics of neglectful families in community and clinical samples; describe the relationship of neglect to child behavior problems; determine the relationship between domestic violence and/or parental substance abuse to child neglect; and determine the relationship of parental depression to parental attachment and child neglect. The availability of these instruments will provide an important first step in enhancing the ability of providers to target primary prevention steps, to evaluate and recommend appropriate care for victims of neglect, and to influence eventual health outcomes for children and families.
|Straus, Murray A; Kantor, Glenda Kaufman (2005) Definition and measurement of neglectful behavior: some principles and guidelines. Child Abuse Negl 29:19-29|
|Straus, Murray A; Savage, Sarah A (2005) Neglectful behavior by parents in the life history of university students in 17 countries and its relation to violence against dating partners. Child Maltreat 10:124-35|