Assessing child abuse: "We need to talk!"

Bifulco, Antonia and Schimmenti, Adriano (2019) Assessing child abuse: "We need to talk!". Child Abuse and Neglect, 98 , 104236. ISSN 0145-2134 (doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2019.104236)

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Abstract

This discussion paper adds to the recent critical debate concerning retrospective measurement of childhood abuse and adverse experiences. A series of recent articles found only modest overlap of prospective informant-based records with retrospective self-report questionnaires, with biases evident in the latter. However, this literature has omitted the use of investigator-based interviews as an alternative retrospective tool for triangulation of measurement. Validated interview approaches can ascertain accurate data using expert scoring that can be used to test both dose-effect and specificity analyses for further research and treatment purposes. Arguments for the retention and further promotion of intensive interview measures for retrospective assessment of childhood neglect and abuse in relation to lifetime clinical outcomes are presented, with illustrative analyses. A network analytic approach is outlined, with six types of childhood abuse or neglect experiences scored via a well-validated interview (the Childhood Experiences of Care and Abuse). This indicates distinct pathways between types of neglect and abuse, but also from more common emotional abuse (antipathy, critical parenting) through to more pernicious psychological abuse (coercive, sadistic control) involving physical abuse or sexual abuse pathways. This is supplemented by a case vignette to illustrate the different pathways indicated. The interview approach gives victims a voice with their narrative (chance to talk) needed for better understanding of the specific dynamics of child abuse and neglect and for an entry into psychotherapeutic work. We need to ensure that such methods are retained in the research and practitioner portfolio of measurement tools. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): CECA, child abuse, interview measure, lifespan, parental neglect, retrospective
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS)
Item ID: 28202
Notes on copyright: © 2019. This author's accepted manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 09:23
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2020 11:09
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/28202

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