Description: This book provides a multisystemic explanation of patterns of intergenerational abuse and neglect of children. The author addresses the controversy surrounding the legitimacy and prevalence of intergenerational cycles of abuse before describing four arenas that can seed and perpetuate the cycles of abuse: sociopolitical, cultural, psychological, and biological.
Purpose: The purpose of the book is to educate those involved with child welfare about the multiple vehicles of transmission and resulting multiple cycles of child maltreatment. The need for cycle-specific intervention is stressed and possible interventions are discussed.
Audience: The book, the second of a new series, The Wiley Series in Child Care and Protection, targets researchers and policymakers in the area of child welfare and professionals involved with service provision to children and families.
Features: The book is composed of four parts, each of which is broken down into chapters. All but the introductory and two closing chapters conclude with a point-by-point summary of the main themes presented. Charts and graphs are used appropriately throughout. References are plentiful and represent a wide range of disciplines and topics related to child welfare. The author references journal articles and books published in both the United States and the United Kingdom as well as a number of international publications.
Assessment: This well-organized, very readable book offers a systematic approach to understanding and interrupting the intergenerational cycle of child maltreatment. The book successfully negotiates different theories and perspectives, always with a sensitivity to criticism. In citing international research as well as that of different disciplines, the book attempts to cover a lot of territory and winds up more informed by Western culture than by any other. This caveat notwithstanding, I would recommend purchase by health science libraries and university bookstores.