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April 2000Vol. 1, No. 2Researchers Study Fathers and Child Neglect

An article in the February issue (v. 154, no. 2) of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine examines the association between father involvement and child neglect. The researchers focused on 244 low-income, urban, African American 5-year-olds, their mothers, and their fathers or father figures. The group was recruited from a population defined to be at high-risk for neglect. The study methodology included interviews with mothers and fathers, videotapes of parent-child interactions, home visits, and written questionnaires. Among their conclusions, the authors found that a father's presence alone does not significantly influence child neglect, but that the nature of paternal involvement did--fathers who felt more effective as parents were less likely to have neglected their children.

The articles authors are Howard Dubowitz, MD; Maureen M. Black, Ph.D.; Mia A. Kerr, MS; Raymond H. Starr Jr., Ph.D.; Donna Harrington, Ph.D. The research was funded by a grant from the Children's Bureau.

The complete article is available online to paid subscribers of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and to all American Medical Association members by registering at

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