An Overview of Child Physical Abuse: Developing an Integrated Parent-Child Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Approach

Melissa K. Runyon, Esther Deblinger, Erika E. Ryan, Reena Thakkar-Kolar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article reviews and summarizes the extant literature regarding child physical abuse (CPA). Literature is summarized that describes the wide range of short-and long-term effects of CPA on children as well as the documented characteristics of parents/caregivers who engage in physically abusive parenting practices. Although the reviewed research documents that interventions geared only toward the parent have been found to produce significant improvements with respect to parenting abilities, parent-child interactions, and children's behavior problems, there is a paucity of research examining the efficacy of interventions developed specifically to target the child's emotional and behavioral difficulties. Based on the few studies that have shown emotional and behavioral gains for children who have participated in treatment, an integrated parent-child cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) approach is proposed here to address the complex issues presented by both parent and child in CPA cases. The direct participation of the child in treatment also may improve our ability to target posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive symptoms as well as anger control and dysfunctional abuse attributions in the children themselves. Implications for practice, public policy, and research are also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-85
Number of pages21
JournalTrauma, Violence, & Abuse
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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