David and Louise Turpin have been accused of abusing their 13 children for years inside their California home, a case that has captured international attention. What should you do to try to better recognize signs of abuse in your neighborhood? The bottom line: If you think a child is in danger or is being hurt, call a hotline, says a child abuse expert at Washington University in St. Louis.
The first academic study to estimate the cumulative lifetime risk of a child mistreatment investigation, completed by researchers at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, reveals that prior to their 18th birthday, 37 percent of U.S. children are the subject of an investigated child maltreatment report.
Child abuse or neglect are strong predictors of major health and emotional problems, but little is known about how the chronicity of the maltreatment may increase future harm apart from other risk factors in a child’s life. In a new study published in the current issue of the journal Pediatrics, Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD, child welfare expert and a professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, looked at how chronic maltreatment impacted the future health and behavior of children and adults. “For every measure studied, a more chronic history of child maltreatment reports was powerfully predictive of worse outcomes,” Jonson-Reid says.