© 2019

Dealing with Child Abuse and Neglect as Public Health Problems

Prevention and the Role of Juvenile Ageism


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 1-4
  3. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 27-30
  4. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 31-37
  5. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 39-48
  6. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 49-54
  7. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 55-67
  8. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 69-81
  9. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 83-105
  10. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 121-142
  11. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 143-153
  12. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 155-158
  13. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 159-175
  14. Jack C. Westman
    Pages 177-187
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 189-199

About this book


This thought-provoking volume defines child abuse and neglect as a public health crisis, both in terms of injuries and mental health problems and as a link to poverty and other negative social outcomes. The author identifies key factors contributing to this situation—in particular juvenile ageism, the pervasive othering of children and youth—coupled with the assumption of parental competence until severe abuse or neglect proves otherwise. The book’s practical answers to these complex issues involve recognizing and balancing the rights of parents and children, and responding to the diverse needs of new, competent, and dysfunctional families. To this end, a comprehensive prevention model is outlined, featuring primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions.

Included in the coverage:

• Child abuse and neglect in the United States

• The impact of juvenile ageism on individuals

• The devaluation of parenthood

• The rights and needs of newborn babies and young children

• Overcoming our crisis-recoil response

• Barriers to change and hope for the future

Dealing with Child Abuse and Neglect as Public Health Problems should engage professionals in the public health, healthcare, and social services sectors. It should also attract parents in struggling families as well as other laypersons, such as policymakers and child advocates, interested in improving current social conditions. 


child abuse child neglect foster home placements parenthood posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) incompetent parents causes of crime welfare dependency school failures poverty juvenile ageism cradle to prison/welfare dependency pipeline public health primary prevention secondary prevention tertiary prevention child protection policies crisis-recoil response rights of children and parents child maltreatment

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA

About the authors

​Jack C. Westman, MD, MS, is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Dr. Westman is author of thirteen books and over 150 professional articles devoted to advocacy for children and families. 

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Public Health


“This book is so well written, it could be used for students in undergraduate, master's, or doctoral programs of any healthcare, health‐related, or social science field. … This book is absolutely phenomenal. It is much needed in today's society to help healthcare and social workers learn more about this public health crisis while providing them tools and ideas to make a positive impact. … This book is well worth the read and conversation it will surely ignite.” (Molly C Moran, Doody's Book Reviews, August 09, 2019)