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Predicting and preventing child abuse

Sherida Bush

Finding a way to predict a parent's potential for child abuse or neglect is now a real possibility. Researchers at the University of Washington, Seattle, have had encouraging success in developing reliable predictive measures. University of Washington researchers Mildred Disbrow, Hans Doerr, and Colleen Caulfield compared SS abusive and neglecting families (referred by Washington's Child Protective Service) with 54 nonabusing families, matching them for such characteristics as age of the child and parents, education and race of the mother, and whether there was one parent or two. They interviewed the parents to learn about their backgrounds, self-concepts, and family cohesiveness.

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