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$2.3M study to examine how neighborhoods influence child maltreatment rates
Date:4/28/2014

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development awarded a $2.3 million grant to three Case Western Reserve University schools and colleges. The team of researchers will study child maltreatment in 20 Cleveland neighborhoods, examining the role that neighborhood conditions; social service availability and use; and the maltreatment reporting process play in influencing child abuse and neglect rates.

"Neighborhoods can differ greatly in the level of child maltreatment that occurs in them over time. Experts are unclear about the specific role that conditions such as concentrated poverty, residential turnover, social cohesion among residents, and the use of services, such as home visits and income support, play in the more than 680,000 cases of abuse and neglect that occur nationwide every year," said Jim Spilsbury, PhD, MPH, principal investigator of the study and assistant professor of general medical sciences at the School of Medicine. "Our four-year study will be a window into the complex world of maltreatment, shedding light on what drives changes in maltreatment rates."

The study results will identify factors tied to reduced abuse and neglect, potentially highlighting new targets for interventions at the neighborhood level, and thereby providing guidance to policy makers and the community leaders responsible for implementing programs to reduce child maltreatment for Cleveland and other urban areas nationwide.

"Existing research suggests that neighborhood conditions can have important effects on how children are raised," added co-investigator Jill Korbin, PhD, professor of anthropology, associate dean, director of the Schubert Center for Child Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

To assess how maltreatment rates are affected, local residents will be interviewed about their opinions of their neighborhood culture and their views on maltreatment. Also, the investigators are partne
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Contact: Jessica Studeny
jes91@case.edu
216-368-4692
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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