This volume addresses child maltreatment, one of the greatest social problems yet to be adequately addressed by social science. It showcases research on understanding, treating, and preventing child maltreatment, and illustrates how such research can be directly applied to practice, policy, and law. Specific topics covered include national trends in the incidence of child maltreatment, physiological consequences of child maltreatment, treatment for maltreatment victims, risks and opportunities associated with foster care placement following maltreatment, prevention and intervention strategies, cultural influences on the perpetration and treatment of child maltreatment, children s competencies in various abuse–related legal contexts and their eyewitness testimony abilities, and challenges and opportunities faced by psychologists working on all forms of child maltreatment within a multidisciplinary context. Several important themes weave throughout all of the articles, including attention to (a) all forms of child maltreatment, (b) new research theories and techniques, (c) multidisciplinarity, and (d) the applicability and practical significance of the scientific research for public policy and law.
The volume has great potential to encourage better research, practice, law, and policy. It will inform scientists across various sub–fields of psychology about the most current knowledge in the discipline and the limits of that knowledge. It will encourage psychologists to think creatively about the issues from psychological, sociological, medical, and legal perspectives. It will bring balance within the current socio–political context of child maltreatment research, focusing research and policy on important issues that arise in actual child abuse cases rather than issues that surround controversial false child maltreatment allegations.
This volume demonstrates how new research findings can (a) provide practitioners with information that can support treatment efforts, (b) spawn better future programs of research, and (c) directly aid new prevention efforts and better social policy and law. This information will advance psychologists collective understanding of child maltreatment.