Toward a definition of neglect in young children.
This study examined the relationship between child experiences identified conceptually as "neglectful" prior to age 4 and child outcomes at age 4. This was done using measures from two sites collected as part of LONGSCAN. Child needs were included within categories of physical and psychological safety and security. Problems with residence safety or cleanliness and untreated behavioral problems predicted child impairments in language. CPS reports of failure to provide shelter predicted impairments in several developmental outcomes. A stimulating home environment predicted less impairment in cognitive development. Multiple changes in residence predicted externalizing behavior problems. Exposure to verbally aggressive discipline predicted more behavioral problems overall. Conversely, some indicators (such as caregiver transitions and lack of medical care) predicted less developmental impairment or fewer behavior problems in certain domains. The approach supports a conceptualization of neglect based on child developmental needs. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
English, DJ; Thompson, R; Graham, JC; Briggs, EC
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