American Academy Blog

Reduce Child Neglect in the U.S. by 50%

March 5, 2014 at 11:03 am Comments are off for this post

Despite declines in the past two decades of child sexual and physical abuse, rates of child neglect have remained virtually unchanged. Today, over 3/4 of children victimized by maltreatment have suffered neglect, justifying a concerted focus on this form of maltreatment. Research has repeatedly shown that neglect is the form of maltreatment most associated with poverty, that it is more likely to impact the very youngest children, and that it is the form of maltreatment most closely associated with child maltreatment-related deaths. In recent years, we have experimented with new interventions that address neglect, and have made significant advances in our understanding of its context. We have also learned a great deal about the socio-emotional, human capital, and physiological consequences of child neglect, which translate into costs that rival other major public health problems that receive exponentially greater attention and funding. A recently released report by the Institute of Medicine calls on the federal government to commit attention and resources to child maltreatment research, which would align with the resources required to address a Grand Challenge related to child maltreatment.