Suspected non-accidental injury to children — A comparative study

  • Imelda McCarthy
  • Paul E. McQuaid


A retrospective view of Child Guidance Clinic referrals from a working class area distinguished ‘battered families’ with referred non-accidentally injured children from other families. Marital and social instability, history of maternal psychiatric treatment, paternal unemployment, criminal and prison records and a high rate of general mobility were distinguishing features of the families of injured children. The study suggests strongly that non-accidental injury to children is quite common in Ireland, that serious injuries occur but that fatalities are suprisingly infrequent. Furthermore, national epidemiological research is required.


Child Abuse Index Group Language Disorder Wife Beating Index Comparison 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Castle, R. L. and Kerr, A. M. 1972.In A Study of Suspected Child Abuse. N.S.P.C.C., London, pp. 10; 6; 15.Google Scholar
  2. Delaney, C. 1976. The realities of the situation in Ireland. Paper to conference on non-accidental injury to children. I.S.P.C.C. May, Dublin.Google Scholar
  3. Elmer, E. 1977. A follow up study of traumatised children. Paediatrics. 59, pp. 279; 278.Google Scholar
  4. Gillies, H. 1976. Homicide in the West of Scotland. Brit. J. Psych. 128, 105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hanson, R. and Noble, S. 1973. Parents of battered children—a controlled study. Brit. Med. J. iv, 388.Google Scholar
  6. Kempe, C. H. 1971. Paediatric implications of the battered baby syndrome. Arch. Dis. Childhood. 46, 28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kempe, C. H. and Helfer, R. E. 1972.In Helping the Battered Child and his Family. Eds. H. C. Kempe and R. E. Helfer. Lippincott, Oxford.Google Scholar
  8. Kempe, C. H. and Kempe, R. S. 1978.In Child Abuse. Fontana/Open Books. London.Google Scholar
  9. Minuchin, S., Montalvo, B., Guerney, B. C., Rosman, B. L. and Schumer, F. 1967.In Families of the Slums—an exploration of their structure and treatment. Basic Books Inc. New York, p. 26.Google Scholar
  10. N.S.P.C.C. Casework and Development Department 1975. Registers of Suspected Non-Accidental Injury. N.S.P.C.C. London, p. 5.Google Scholar
  11. North Dublin Social Workers and Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. 1975.In Suffer Little Children. N.D.S.W. Dublin, 8.Google Scholar
  12. Ounsted, C., Oppenheimer, R. and Lindsay, J. 1974. Aspects of Bonding Failure: The psycopathology and psychotherapeutic treatment of families of battered children. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 16, 4.Google Scholar
  13. Parents Anonymous. 1973.In Procedures and Concepts Manual. Parents Anonymous, Long Beach, California, p. 12.Google Scholar
  14. Sabinga, M. and Friedman, C. J. 1971. Restraint and speech. Paediatrics. 48, 116.Google Scholar
  15. Skinner, A. E. and Castle, R. L. 1969.In 78 Battered Children—Retrospective Study. N.S.P.C.C. N.S.P.C.C.. London, pp. 9; 5; 11.Google Scholar
  16. Smith, S. and Deasy, P. 1977. Child abuse in Ireland. J. Irish Med. Ass. 70, 73.Google Scholar
  17. Smith, S. M., Hanson, R. and Noble, S. 1974. Social aspects of the battered baby syndrome. Brit. J. Psych. 125, 569.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Imelda McCarthy
    • 1
  • Paul E. McQuaid
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Family PsychiatryMater Misericordiae HospitalDublin 7

Personalised recommendations