Are Father Surrogates a Risk Factor for Child Maltreatment?
Radhakrishna, A. Bou-Saada, I. E. Hunter, W. M. Catellier, D. J. Kotch, J. B.
North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill. Dept. of Maternal and Child Health.
Published: November 2001
Vol. 6 , 281-289
Publication Information: Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA.
Available from: Sage Publications
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Sponsoring Organization: Children's Bureau (DHHS), Washington, DC.
Most research on the effect of father figures in the home on the incidence of child maltreatment has been cross-sectional and has focused on sexual abuse. This prospective study's purpose is to determine if the presence of a father surrogate in the home affects the risk of a subsequent child maltreatment report. In a longitudinal sample of at-risk children, North Carolina's Central Registry for Child Abuse and Neglect was used to determine the maltreatment history of children from birth to age 8 years. Children who had a father surrogate living in the home were twice as likely to be reported for maltreatment after his entry into the home than those with either a biological father (odds ratio = 2.6, 95% confidence interval = 1.4-4.7) or no father figure in the home (odds ratio = 2.0, 95 % confidence interval = 1.1-3.5). (Author abstract) Numerous references, 3 tables.
child abuse research; fatherless families; parental surrogates; family relationships; children at risk; risk factors