Development of a framework for classifying threat and neglect in childhood: A qualitative study

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Betts, Joseph L
Ownsworth, Tamara
Dawe, Sharon
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2022
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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Abstract

Quantification of childhood adversity has typically involved a cumulative risk approach in which total number of discrete adversities serves as an index of overall risk. However, this approach fails to account for the growing evidence of differential outcomes following exposure to childhood adversities. An alternative approach adopts a dimensional perspective, with growing evidence for distinct developmental impacts associated with exposure to threat (violence/abuse) and deprivation (neglect). This study developed a framework for the classification of these dimensions through a thematic analysis of health practitioners' views and accounts of different forms of childhood adversity. Ten health practitioners experienced in working with children with challenging behaviours and neurodevelopmental disorders participated in semi-structured interviews regarding definitions and examples of six categories of adversity: physical/emotional/sexual abuse, physical/emotional neglect, and domestic and family violence. The qualitative analysis identified 23 themes across the six categories of adversity, along with two overarching themes regarding ambiguity of classifying exposures and non-specific outcomes of exposures. Themes were integrated to provide a framework and checklist for classifying indicators of exposure to threat and deprivation. The findings offer a framework and checklist for the assessment of threat and deprivation that will allow for further testing of the dimensional risk model.

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Child Abuse Review
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© 2022 The Authors. Child Abuse Review published by Association of Child Protection Professionals and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivsLicense, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
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Criminology
Social work
Clinical and health psychology
Social Sciences
Family Studies
abuse
childhood adversity
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Betts, JL; Ownsworth, T; Dawe, S, Development of a framework for classifying threat and neglect in childhood: A qualitative study, Child Abuse Review, 2022
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