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Book and Media Reviews
August 15, 2012

The ACE Study

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

Author Affiliation: University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado (richard.krugman@ucdenver.edu).

JAMA. 2012;308(7):718-719. doi:10.1001/jama.308.7.718

In 1962, C. Henry Kempe and colleagues published a landmark paper in JAMA entitled “The Battered-Child Syndrome.”1 This heavily cited paper is credited with launching a new field and the passage of legislation in every state in the United States that required the reporting of suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to designated authorities (either child welfare or law enforcement) for investigation, intervention, and treatment. The article estimated that there might have been 749 battered children in the United States in 1960. Fifty years later, it is estimated that there are 754 000 confirmed cases of child maltreatment.2 Pediatricians and other health professionals caring for children are generally aware of their reporting responsibilities. But the child protection system in the United States is struggling under the weight of investigating more than 3 million reports annually, and after more than 20 years, the persistent paucity of information on the long-term outcomes of abused children has been frustrating.