• June 2002
  • Vol. 3, No. 5

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Report Defines Psychological Mistreatment of Children, Describes its Consequences

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) aims to heighten pediatricians' awareness of the psychological maltreatment of children.

The report was published in the April 2002 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the AAP. According to authors Steven W. Kairys, Charles F. Johnson, and the AAP Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, enough research has been amassed and sufficient consensus has been reached to justify defining child psychological maltreatment as an entity distinct from physical and sexual abuse.

The report defines psychological maltreatment as "a repeated pattern of damaging interactions between parent(s) and child that becomes typical of the relationship. In some situations, the pattern is chronic and pervasive; in others, the pattern occurs only when triggered by alcohol or other potentiating factors. Occasionally, a very painful singular incident, such as an unusually contentious divorce, can initiate psychological maltreatment."

The report identifies risk factors for, and consequences of, child psychological maltreatment; describes behaviors that may constitute psychological maltreatment; and offers pediatricians guidance on recognizing, preventing, and reporting this type of maltreatment.

Access a copy of the report online at: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/109/4/e68

Related Items

See the following reviews of New and Noteworthy Publications in the January 2002 issue of the Children's Bureau Express:

  • "Emotional Abuse and Emotional Neglect: Antecedents, Operational Definitions and Consequences"
  • "Psychological Maltreatment of Children: The APSAC Study Guides 4"

Search the documents database on the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information website (http://basis.caliber.com/cwig/ws/library/docs/gateway/SearchForm) for additional information related to psychological maltreatment of children.

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