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Multilevel Comparison of Child Abusers with Nonabusers

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Volume: 2 Issue: 3 Dated: (September 1987) Pages: 215-225
A Hamilton; W B Stiles; F Melowsky; D G Beal
Date Published
11 pages
An integrative, ecological model developed by Belsky (1980) implies that to understand child abuse, researchers must examine factors at four levels: the individual, family, environment, and culture.
This compared abusive and nonabusive parents at three of these four levels. At the individual level, abusers were found to have lower self-esteem than controls. Also, male abusers were more likely to be relatively impulsive and hostile. At the family level, abusers described their children as more troublesome than control parents, but they did not perceive them as developmentally delayed. At the environmental level, abusers identified more intense life stressors than nonabusers. Results of this investigation supported Belsky's argument that child abuse involved multiple factors and levels. Table and 32 references. (Author abstract modified)