The Clinical Assessment of Child-Abusive Families

  • Jeffrey A. Kelly
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


In previous chapters, we considered a number of different characteristics and parent skill deficits that appear capable of producing child-abusive behavior. It should be evident, however, that an important clinical task is determining which specific factors are responsible for the abusive actions in a given family. For example, child-management deficits, lack of knowledge about children, anger-control problems, joblessness or socioeconomic stress, and child-developmental handicaps have all been found to occur disproportionately more often among abusive families. (However, these factors are based on group “mean differences” and they do not tell a clinician what variable, or set of variables, are the antecedents of abusive conduct for a given family seeking treatment.) The first task of a therapist intervening with an abusive family is to determine carefully the critical factors which lead to child maltreatment in that particular family.


Child Behavior Problem Situation Abusive Conduct Parent Psychopathology Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey A. Kelly
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA

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