Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Child Abuse, Child Neglect, and Health
Beth E. Molnar
Both child abuse and child neglect are worldwide problems that impair the health and welfare of children and adolescents. Consequences often impede children's growth and development, and effects can be chronic, sometimes affecting individuals throughout their lifetime. The World Health Organization first recognized child abuse as a major public health problem in 1997, indicating that its elimination is a relatively recent but vital addition to their agenda of improving human health and well-being across the globe. Perpetration of child abuse and neglect is thought to result from a complex combination of individual, family, community, and societal factors. At the individual level, some characteristics of caregivers who abuse or neglect children include mental health problems, including substance abuse, and a caregiver's own history of witnessing violence or being a victim of child abuse or neglect in the past. At the family level, violence between adult caregivers is a risk for child ...