Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Intensive intervention cuts child abuse

Intensive interventions can dramatically reduce levels of child abuse in at-risk families. Researchers from Southern Methodist University in Dallas studied 35 families on the at-risk register. Half of them received intensive support in which they were taught how to pay attention and play with their children, how to listen and comfort them, how to offer praise and positive attention, how to give appropriate instructions and commands and how to respond to misbehaviour. They were also given access to materials and resources such as food banks and Medicaid. The other families received normal levels of support from social services. Only 5.9% of the families who received the intensive intervention were later referred to social services for child abuse compared to 28% of the other families.

You can find out more about this research by clicking on the link in the title of this post.


Dean said...

What factors had the biggest impact to decrease the child abuse? Was it the economic assistance, was it the psychological education. A follow up to determine what is the most important factors would be valuable.

John Gale said...

Dear Dean,
Thanks - that's an interesting question. I think that if the mums were already under pressure financially that would tend to make them more short-tempered with their kids so yes I think you do have to look at the whole picture and not just the effect of the intervention - it will be interesting to see if they follow this up.
Best Wishes,
John Gale,
Mental Health Update