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September 25, 1987

Child Abuse and Neglect: What Happens Eventually

JAMA. 1987;258(12):1669. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400120119044

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This 209-page book is an excellent resource for those interested in the maltreatment of children. Essentially, it is a detailed look at two specific components of the child-abuse spectrum— physical abuse and nonorganic failure to thrive. Representative of the 11 chapters are "Growth Failure and Emotional Deprivation," "The Causes of Child Abuse," and "Development of the Abused Child." Each chapter is copiously and currently referenced.

The book highlights problems that exist in the current management of children and their families. In the midst of our fixation on parent-oriented intervention, the author presents an analytic and critical review of the literature on long-term follow-up. He identifies inadequacies and deficiencies and makes clear the need for a shift of emphasis to a child-centered therapeutic approach.

The first of two parts provides background information and a review of the status of research in the field. The second is devoted to the author's longitudinal