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Child Abuse

  1. Cindy Miller-Perrin

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0164

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Miller-Perrin, C. 2010. Child Abuse. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Pepperdine University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The problem of child abuse and neglect did not receive serious attention until C. Henry Kempe and his colleagues published their research in the mid-1960s on the “battered child syndrome,” a pattern of unexplained physical injuries in children, purportedly inflicted by parents or caregivers. This work helped to initiate a movement in the United States to protect children from child abuse and neglect. The 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (P.L. 93-247) mandated reporting laws as well as procedures for investigating suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. In addition, the act provided for research in child abuse and neglect and established the Center for Child Abuse and Neglect within the Children's Bureau of the Department of Health and Human Services. Since the 1960s and 1970s, progress in the field has been rapid, expanding our understanding about the definition and magnitude of child abuse and neglect, the emotional and physical sequelae of abuse, and potential treatment interventions to address the needs of child maltreatment victims and their families.


  • child abuse;
  • child maltreatment;
  • child neglect;
  • child sexual abuse;
  • psychological maltreatment