Models of Child Abuse: A Metatheoretical Analysis

Sandra T. Azar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This review assesses progress in the development of causal models of physical child abuse by examining the foundations of current theorizing. The sociopolitical forces and methodological problems that have acted to inhibit model building are highlighted. Existing models are then analyzed using five dimensions important to theory construction: definitions, basic assumptions, levels of analysis, complexity, and forms of antecedent-consequence relationships posited. Progress and conceptual problems in current theorizing are discussed and guidelines for future theory development are outlines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-46
Number of pages17
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law


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