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The Role of Economic Support in Child Maltreatment Prevention

  • Kristen Shook Slack
  • April 30 2013
  • W4-2013

A large volume of research exists on the relationship between poverty and child maltreatment, yet we still know very little about the exact nature of this association. Does poverty play a causal role in child maltreatment or is there an alternative explanation for this persistent relationship? Are there specific features or aspects of poverty that heighten child maltreatment risk? And, if there is a causal influence of poverty, does providing economic support to low-income families reduce the risk of child maltreatment? In this webinar, we will review the theories that may explain the long-standing association between poverty and child maltreatment, identify the ways in which poverty may heighten maltreatment risk, and also review the research on the influence of economic supports on reducing maltreatment outcomes. A critical question in the child maltreatment prevention world is: How much prevention can we achieve by addressing the economic stress of low-income families at risk for child maltreatment? The answer to this question has important implications for the design of maltreatment prevention strategies, which historically have tended to focus heavily on changing parenting behaviors through parent education and skill-building.


Child Development & Well-Being, Child Maltreatment & Child Welfare System, Child Poverty, Children, Economic Support, Family & Partnering