Noticing and helping the neglected child: towards an international research agenda

Journal article citation:
Child and Family Social Work, 17(4), November 2012, pp.416-426.

This systematic review investigated the extent to which practitioners are equipped to recognise and respond to the indications that a child's needs are likely to be neglected, specifically exploring the methodological issues arising from the review. A final dataset of 63 studies was included from international research agenda for child neglect. The review raised a number of methodological issues of relevance for research in child protection in general, and on neglect in particular. Researchers and practitioners can benefit from an enhanced understanding of the issues that make neglect difficult to understand. Common issues were identified to inform future research; for example, there was a tendency for studies to use a range of proxy measures rather than direct observation of the outcome of interest, and a wide range of different outcome measures was used. Many of the studies were small scale or retrospective in design. Many studies conflated neglect and other forms of maltreatment, and it was often difficult to extract specific messages for neglect. A discussion on future research is presented.

Subject terms:
research design, research methods, assessment, child neglect, child protection;
Content type:
research review
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