Prevalence

According to the (American) National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, in 1997 neglect represented 54% of confirmed cases of child abuse, physical abuse 22%, sexual abuse 8%, emotional maltreatment 4%, and other forms of maltreatment 12%.[34] A UNICEF report on child wellbeing[35] stated that the United States and the United Kingdom ranked lowest among industrial nations with respect to the wellbeing of children. It also found that child neglect and child abuse were far more common in single-parent families than in families where both parents are present.[citation needed] In the USA, neglect is defined as the failure to meet the basic needs of children including housing, clothing, food and access to medical care. Researchers found over 91,000 cases of neglect in one year (from October 2005 to 30 September 2006) using information from a database of cases verified by protective services agencies.[2] Neglect could also take the form of financial abuse by not buying the child adequate materials for survival.[36] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that for each year between 2000 and 2005, "female parents acting alone" were most likely to be perpetrators of child abuse

According to the (American) National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, in 1997 neglect represented 54% of confirmed cases of child abuse, physical abuse 22%, sexual abuse 8%, emotional maltreatment 4%, and other forms of maltreatment 12%.[34] A UNICEF report on child wellbeing[35] stated that the United States and the United Kingdom ranked lowest among industrial nations with respect to the wellbeing of children. It also found that child neglect and child abuse were far more common in single-parent families than in families where both parents are present.[citation needed] In the USA, neglect is defined as the failure to meet the basic needs of children including housing, clothing, food and access to medical care. Researchers found over 91,000 cases of neglect in one year (from October 2005 to 30 September 2006) using information from a database of cases verified by protective services agencies.[2] Neglect could also take the form of financial abuse by not buying the child adequate materials for survival.[36] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that for each year between 2000 and 2005, "female parents acting alone" were most likely to be perpetrators of child abuse A child abuse fatality occurs when a child's death is the result of abuse or neglect, or when abuse and/or neglect are contributing factors to a child's death. In the United States, 1,730 children died in 2008 due to factors related to abuse; this is a rate of 2 per 100,000 U.S. children.[38] Family situations which place children at risk include moving, unemployment, having non-family members living in the household. A number of policies and programs have been put in place in the U.S. to try to better understand and to prevent child abuse fatalities, including: safe-haven laws, child fatality review teams, training for investigators, shaken baby syndrome prevention programs, and child abuse death laws which mandate harsher sentencing for taking the life of a child Child abuse is a complex phenomenon with multiple causes.[40] Understanding the causes of abuse is crucial to addressing the problem of child abuse.[41] Parents who physically abuse their spouses are more likely than others to physically abuse their children.[42] However, it is impossible to know whether marital strife is a cause of child abuse, or if both the marital strife and the abuse are caused by tendencies in the abuser.[42] This commonly used term refers to the process of parents' setting expectations for their child that are clearly beyond the child's capability. When parents' expectations are particularly deviant (e.g., preschool children who are expected to be totally responsible for self-care or provision of nurturance to parents) the resulting frustration caused by the child's non-compliance is believed to function as a contributory if not necessary cause of child abuse.[43] Children resulting from unintended pregnancies are more likely to be abused or neglected.[44][45] Neglect is by far the most common form of child abuse, accounting for more than 78% of all cases.[46] In addition, unintended pregnancies are more likely than intended pregnancies to be associated with abusive relationships,[47] and there is an increased risk of physical violence during pregnancy.[48] They also result in poorer maternal mental health,[48] and lower mother-child relationship quality.[48] A study on child abuse sought to determine: the forms of child abuse perpetrated on children with disabilities; the extent of child abuse; and the causes of child abuse of children with disabilities. A questionnaire on child abuse was adapted and used to collect data in this study. Participants comprised a sample of 31 pupils with disabilities (15 children with vision impairment and 16 children with hearing impairment) selected from special schools in Botswana. The study found that the majority of participants were involved in doing domestic chores. They were also sexually, physically and emotionally abused by their teachers. This study showed that children with disabilities were vulnerable to child abuse in their schools.[49] Substance abuse can be a major contributing factor to child abuse. One U.S. study found that parents with documented substance abuse, most commonly alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, were much more likely to mistreat their children, and were also much more likely to reject court-ordered services and treatments.[50] Another study found that over two-thirds of cases of child maltreatment involved parents with substance abuse problems. This study specifically found relationships between alcohol and physical abuse, and between cocaine and sexual abuse.[51] Although the abuse survivor does not always realise the abuse is wrong, the internal confusion can lead to chaos. Inner anger turns to outer frustration. Once aged 17/18, drink and drugs are used to numb the hurt feelings, nightmares and daytime flashbacks. Acquisitive crimes to pay for the chemicals are inevitable if the survivor is unable to find employment.[52] Unemployment and financial difficulties are associated with increased rates of child abuse.[53] In 2009 CBS News reported that child abuse in the United States had increased during the economic recession. It gave the example of a father who had never been the primary care-taker of the children. Now that the father was in that role, the children began to come in with injuries.[54] Child-abuse cases go through screeners like Belisle to an "assessment" worker, the job Belisle used to handle. Eventually they reach the various social workers and services (counseling, referral to day care centers and Alcoholics Anonymous in local neighborhoods). Having been abused as a child seems to lead to a repetition with one's own children. Beyond that, the causes of child abuse seem to be deep-rooted anger and frustration and an intolerable sense of physical or emotional inadequacy. Anger most of all. "They don't know how to control it," says Belisle's co-worker Anna Ferzoco.[55] A 1988 study of child murders in the US found that children are 100 times more often killed by a "non-biological parent (e.g. step-parent, co-habitee or boyfriend/girlfriend of a biological parent)" than by a biological parent.[56] An evolutionary psychology explanation for this is that using resources in order to take care of another person's biological child is likely not a good strategy for increasing reproductive success.[56] More generally, stepchildren have a much higher risk of being abused which is sometimes referred to as the Cinderella effect. The Cinderella Effect is often regarded as one of the great successes of Evo Psych research. It attempts to explain the observation that parents are more likely to kill their stepchildren than their biological children using evolutionary logic - as described by Daly and Wilson: "research concerning animal social behaviour provide a rationale for expecting parents to be discriminative in their care and affection, and more specifically, to discriminate in favour of their own young".[57] Psychologists conducted a study in the United States in 2010 which examined over 200 regular church attendees from eleven different denominations of Christianity, most of whom were educated, upper-middle class White Americans, found that extrinsic religious orientation was associated with a greater risk of physical child abuse. Those with a more extrinsic religious orientation who also adhered to greater social conformity were particularly more likely to share characteristics with physically abusive subjects. Subjects who adhered to Biblical literalism exhibited a higher potential of physical child abuse. Those who had a more intrinsic religious orientation were not found to be at a greater risk of child abuse, although they sometimes exhibited greater social conformity or a greater propensity for holding literal interpretations of the Bible. Approximately 85% of the study's subjects were parents