cial welfare, and criminal violence. Although no specific theory about the causes of child abuse and neglect has been substantially replicated across studies, significant progress has been gained in the past few decades in identifying the dimensions of complex phenomena that contribute to the origins of child maltreatment.
Efforts to improve the quality of research on any group of children are dependent on the value that society assigns to the potential inherent in young lives. Although more adults are available in American society today as service providers to care for children than was the case in 1960, a disturbing number of recent reports have concluded that American children are in trouble (Fuchs and Reklis, 1992; National Commission on Children, 1991; Children's Defense Fund, 1991).
Efforts to encourage greater investments in research on children will be futile unless broader structural and social issues can be addressed within our society. Research on general problems of violence, substance addiction, social inequality, unemployment, poor education, and the treatment of children in the social services system is incomplete without attention to child maltreatment issues. Research on child maltreatment can play a key role in informing major social policy decisions concerning the services that should be made available to children, especially children in families or neighborhoods that experience significant stress and violence.
As a nation, we already have developed laws and regulatory approaches to reduce and prevent childhood injuries and deaths through actions such as restricting hot water temperatures and requiring mandatory child restraints in automobiles. These important precedents suggest how research on risk factors can provide informed guidance for social efforts to protect all of America's children in both familial and other settings.
Not only has our society invested relatively little in research on children, but we also have invested even less in research on children whose families are characterized by multiple problems, such as poverty, substance abuse, violence, welfare dependency, and child maltreatment. In part, this slower development is influenced by the complexities of research on major social problems. But the state of research on this topic could be advanced more rapidly with increased investment of funds. In the competition for scarce research funds, the underinvestment in child maltreatment research needs to be understood in the context of bias, prejudice, and the lack of a clear political constituency for children in general and disadvantaged children in particular (Children's Defense Fund, 1991; National Commission on Children, 1991). Factors such as racism, ethnic discrimination, sexism, class bias, institutional and professional jealousies, and social inequities influence the development of our national research agenda (Bell, 1992, Huston, 1991).
The evolving research agenda has also struggled with limitations im-
First Claim Paragraph
One key fact about child abuse is that [insert specific fact or statistic about child abuse.] This suggests that child abuse is prevalent enough to have profound impacts on [choose one or more: individuals/society/culture/education.]
There are four general types of child abuse including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. The first type of child abuse covered here is [choose one: physical abuse/emotional abuse/sexual abuse/neglect.] Continue by describing the first type of child abuse you researched. Be sure to include an example of this type of abuse.]
- Child abuse refers to any behavior or lack-of-action that contributes to a child's harm or risk of harm.
- There are many forms of child abuse including physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
- Child abuse also encompasses other forms of maltreatment such as neglect and exploitation.
- A child who has experienced abuse will often have a lifetime of problems ranging from emotional or physical to medical and social.
- There are a variety of national, state and local organizations created to support and educate parents about child abuse.
- Child abuse is illegal. Laws prohibiting child abuse exist at the federal, national and local levels.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Information on Child Abuse