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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Stephanie Fariss, JD, LCSW (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book presents a historical perspective on child maltreatment, discusses its scope, theoretical perspectives for understanding the problem, and ways in which child abuse and neglect can be treated. Each chapter includes a discussion of an aspect of child maltreatment (e.g., "The Path of Intervention"); provides case examples, charts, tables, and diagrams for illustration (e.g., "National Estimates of Child Abuse and Neglect Reports, 1976-1994"); and closes with a summary and an annotated bibliography for further reading.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the reader with a starting point to acquiring knowledge about child maltreatment. The author's objective is worthy and important to clinicians and the lay public alike. It provides just about anyone, clinicians-in-training included, with an overview of this subject on a variety of levels — clinical, societal, historical, political, etc.
Audience: The book appears most appropriate for anyone needing a comprehensive if quick overview of the area of child maltreatment. Doctoral students will find the annotated bibliography helpful in locating more in-depth reading. The author is knowledgeable in this area as a cited author on the subject of family violence.
Features: Chapters are well-organized and include multiple headings for easy reading. Tables, diagrams, and charts supplement the text. An extensive reference list, appendixes, and an index are provided.
Assessment: This book, aptly entitled "a primer," serves as a starting point for just about anyone interested in learning about child maltreatment. It accomplishes what is most difficult to do — provide a thorough overview of a controversial area of treatment in a clear and organized way, and points the reader to additional material as needed.