October 8, 2010
Unemployment Linked to Abuse of Children
(Ivanhoe Newswire) "“ Poverty and the stresses that come along with it have long been correlated to neglect and child abuse, but this study shows that unemployment leads to maltreatment of children only one year later. With the increasing rates of unemployment in the U.S. it is important to not let the stress of life affect innocent children.
The researchers reviewed state-level unemployment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and compared them with child maltreatment data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), during the years 1990 to 2008. Each 1 percent increase in unemployment was associated with at least a 0.50 per 1,000 increase in confirmed child maltreatment reports one year later. In addition, higher levels of unemployment appeared to raise the likelihood of child maltreatment, as it was not only the lagged change in unemployment, but also the previous year's unemployment level that influenced the number of child abuse cases.
"When times are bad, children suffer," study author Robert Sege, MD, PhD, FAAP, professor of pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, and director, Division of Ambulatory Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center was quoted as saying. "These results suggest that programs to strengthen families and prevent maltreatment should be expanded during economic downturns."
SOURCE: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition, held in San Francisco, October 2010