242125 Safe supportive and nurturing environments for infants and toddlers in North Carolina

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Adam J. Zolotor, MD MPH , Department of Family medicine and Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Meghan Shanahan, PhD , Injury Prevention Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Desmond K. Runyan, MD , Social Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Promoting safe, stable, and nurturing relationships has become the prime objective of many child abuse prevention programs. Defining and measuring child physical and sexual abuse is easier, in some ways, than this more global framework for healthy families. Neglect and psychological violence are important components of this construct as are positive acts of parenting (e.g. reading and showing affection). We surveyed 2946 mothers of children less than 2 years of age in North Carolina with an anonymous population-based telephone survey (response rate 54%) to understand parenting of young children. Using the Parent Child Conflict Tactics Scale and the Mother Child Neglect Scale, we asked how young children are disciplined, supervised, and reared. Minor psychological violence (shouting, yelling and screaming by 29.7% of mothers) is common. More severe forms of psychological violence are uncommon (2.9% of mothers cursed or swore at child; 2.9% of mothers refused to speak to child). In the last year 3.5% of mothers revealed not being able to provide enough food for their child. Injury due to inadequate supervision was common (20% last year), but leaving young children home alone in the last year was rare (0.27%). Overall, we found moderate rates of early maternal employment of minor psychological violence but low rates of more severe psychological tactics and low but worrisome rates of neglect. Survey research is one important tool to measure the ways that program, practice, and policies promote safe, supportive, and nurturing relationships in the interest of violence prevention and optimal child development.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the types and rates of psychological aggression, inadequate supervision, and postive acts of parenting towards children 0-2 in North Carolina.

Keywords: Child Abuse, Child Neglect

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Research child abuse epidemiology, prevention, and surveillance.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.