Future Directions in Child Maltreatment Research

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Child maltreatment (or child abuse and neglect) is a common area of interest in clinical child psychology. Research has examined the causes and consequences as well as the myriad risk factors and interventions that are effective in supporting child maltreatment victims and families. Child maltreatment is unique, however, from the study of disorders and even other kinds of adversity in that the scientific interest is shared across many disciplines including but not limited to, social welfare, medicine, law, and biology. As a result, the current state of the field although robust, is limited by a lack of shared definitions, common approaches to research and inclusion of widely differing sample types making the results often nonreproducible and of limited generalizability. The goal of the current paper is to provide clinical child and adolescent psychologists a guide to the complexity of child maltreatment research and to suggest possible solutions to navigate the challenges associated with research on child maltreatment. The manuscript provides suggestions that researchers could follow to ensure that mistakes from the past are not repeated and so that clinical psychology can contribute to the field with the most robust research for this significantly important public health issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-587
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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