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Epidemiology and Family Characteristics of Severely-Abused Children

J. A. Baldwin and J. E. Oliver
British Journal of Preventive and Social Medicine
Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 1975), pp. 205-221
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25565866
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Epidemiology and Family Characteristics of Severely-Abused Children
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Abstract

Severe child abuse in north-east Wiltshire was studied retrospectively during the period 1965-71, and prospectively for 18 months from January 1972, after a period of consultative activity with those actively involved to increase awareness of the phenomenon. Severe abuse was strictly defined. A rate of 1 per thousand children under four years old was obtained, together with a death rate of 0·1 per thousand. The families of the retrospective series of abused children were studied in detail, and identifying characteristics of large family size, youthfulness, low social-class, instability, and gross psychiatric, medical, and social pathology described. The implications of the ascertainment and death rates are discussed in relation to data from some other studies, and the need emphasized for detailed studies of the apparent clustering of disorder in the families, using linked record systems.

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