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October 25, 1985


JAMA. 1985;254(16):2293-2295. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360160125031

Children are our nation's most valuable resource; their health and welfare today will determine the strength, vitality, and creativity of our future. Despite impressive yearly gains in providing a healthier, happier childhood, a number of organic and behavioral problems remain to be solved. This summary will highlight the areas of achievement and signal the goals that we have yet to achieve for our children.

Parenting is too often taken for granted as a benign, caring trust in which the guardians, be they natural parents or other individuals are, totally dedicated to the welfare of the child. In 1962, Henry Kempe1 alerted us in a landmark JAMA article to the prevalence of adverse parenting, which takes the form of "battering" or physical abuse of the child. Since that time we have continued to expand the dimensions of abuse to include sexual and emotional abuses as well as neglect. The dynamics