Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Mary Sean O'Halloran & Arlene K. Weimer
Child maltreatment is a broad term encompassing child neglect and abuse. It has been identified at the national and international levels as a tragedy of drastic proportions, drastic in the number of people it affects and drastic in the costs it exacts from the individual, the family, and society. Concern about the problem of child abuse in the past century has grown out of two important social phenomena: the development of a specialized group of medical and mental health care professionals, educational specialists, and legal professionals concerned with children and families, and the women's rights movement. Together, both have contributed to a social and political environment that has changed our view of children and how to work on their behalf. In 2004, child protective agencies investigated approximately 3,503,000 children for maltreatment. Nearly 872,000 of these reports were substantiated. The majority of these children experienced neglect (62.4%), followed by physical abuse ...