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Dysfunctional Families

What do we know about parents from maltreating families? They are often socially isolated, and have little emotional and financial support. Depression is a common factor in the neglect of children; Chaffin and colleagues found in a study of over 7,000 parents in five major cities that depressed parents are 3 times more likely to neglect their children. They sometimes were abused or neglected themselves as children. Jaffe says that 30% of abusive parents were themselves abused as children. Mothers... more

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“Dr. Laura” – The Mental Health Demon

Media personality “Dr. Laura” Schlessinger once wrote a commentary Evil Among Us in March 1999, and discussed it on her radio show. This was her response to a research study about child sexual abuse, conducted by a scholar named Rind, and published by the American Psychological Association. “Dr. Laura” stirred up fans, who contacted politicians, who started talking about congressional hearings, and eventually did pass a resolution condemning child sexual abuse. The controversy... more

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Corporal Punishment in Children – What Does It Accomplish?

How Many Parents Spank Their Children? Gershoff reports that Straus and Stewart (1999) found that 94% of American parents spank their children by the ages of 3 or 4. Primarily they spank children up to age 5, one to two times per month. Gershoff notes too that the US Department of Health and Human Services (2001) indicated that 13 of every 1000 children are abused or neglected. Thinking that spanking leads to abuse, Gershoff investigated the effectiveness of spanking by conducting a meta-analysis.... more

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Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare – review of child protection data by Dorothy Roberts

Shattered Bonds

Shattered Bonds is a thoughtful essay in three parts regarding the gap between what we as a society think we mean by child “protection” and “welfare,” and what actually happens as a result of the Child Protective System and the Welfare System. While you might not agree with all of her conclusions, she cites a wealth of studies (many regarding children here in Illinois and in Chicago) showing serious breakdowns in the system. Roberts’ premise is basically this. First,... more