Understanding child neglect: A developmental victimology perspective
Very few studies have explored the multi-dimensional and developmental nature of child neglect. In the present study, child neglect was examined from a developmental victimology perspective, which would predict that age trends in the incidence of different types of neglect would vary with the developmental needs of children, and that the family contexts of these neglect types would vary accordingly. The hypothesis that the incidence of child neglect would vary depending on children’s particular vulnerabilities at different ages was supported. However, the hypothesis that the family context typifying each form of neglect would vary according to children’s needs was largely unsupported. The results of this study illustrate that child neglect and its context are complex and multi-dimensional; that the developmental victimology framework is a promising approach to understanding the variation in types of neglect children experience; and that the role of family characteristics in child neglect is not as simple or obvious as is often assumed.