Exploring policies for the reduction of child physical abuse and neglect☆
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Exploring policies for the reduction of child physical abuse and neglect☆

  • Published Date:

    Aug 12 2014

  • Source:
    Child Abuse Negl. 40:1-11.
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-532.69 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Child Abuse Negl
  • Description:
    Policies can be powerful tools for prevention given their potential to affect conditions that can improve population-level health. Given the dearth of empirical research on policies' impacts on child maltreatment, this article (a) identifies 37 state policies that might have impacts on the social determinants of child maltreatment; (b) identifies available data sources documenting the implementation of 31 policies; and (c) utilizes the available data to explore effects of 11 policies (selected because they had little missing data) on child maltreatment rates. These include two policies aimed at reducing poverty, two temporary assistance to needy families policies, two policies aimed at increasing access to child care, three policies aimed at increasing access to high quality pre-K, and three policies aimed at increasing access to health care. Multi-level regression analyses between within-state trends of child maltreatment investigation rates and these 11 policies, controlling for states' childhood poverty, adults without a high school diploma, unemployment, child burden, and race/ethnicity, identified two that were significantly associated with decreased child maltreatment rates: lack of waitlists to access subsidized child care and policies that facilitate continuity of child health care. These findings are correlational and are limited by the quality and availability of the data. Future research might focus on a reduced number of states that have good quality administrative data or population-based survey data on child maltreatment or reasonable proxies for child maltreatment and where data on the actual implementation of specific policies of interest can be documented.
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