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Role of Men in Chronic Supervisory Neglect

NCJ Number
Child Maltreatment Volume: 11 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2006 Pages: 27-33
Carol Coohey; Ying Zhang
Date Published
February 2006
7 pages
This study examined whether a mother and her male partner's child-care demand and resources, their capacity to provide adequate supervision, and their understanding of the supervision problem contributed to chronic supervision problems.
The findings show that the mother's partner had a critical role in whether a supervision problem continued over time. When the male partner was not the father of all the children in the home or had a drug, alcohol, or mental health issue, the problem of child supervision was more likely to persist. Other factors that contributed to a continuing problem in child supervision were the mother's and the partner's failure to recognize the supervision problem or to take responsibility for it. These findings are consistent with Jones's (1987) findings on repeated supervisory neglect and suggest some additional avenues for future research. In order to identify couples with problems of inadequate child supervision, researchers screened all reports of child maltreatment substantiated by investigators from one county in a Midwestern State between January 1996 and January 1998. Each family was tracked for 2 years after its last substantiated incident. Only the reports with a parental perpetrator were included in the sample, resulting in 602 substantiated incidents of child maltreatment. Families were divided into three patterns of supervisory neglect based on English's (2003) work: occurring only once, "episodic" (back-to-back incidents over a relatively short time period), and extended (persistent lack of child supervision). If a family had more than one substantiated report of supervisory neglect, one report was randomly selected and coded (157 incidents). 2 tables and 27 references