Economic Stress Model of Child Maltreatment and Child Protection System Involvement

Member: Kristen S. Slack
(University of Wisconsin - Madison)
View more resources by Kristen S. Slack
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This model provides an overview of the various explanations for a causal path from poverty or economic hardship to child maltreatment and child protection system (CPS) involvement.  There is a large research literature suggesting that poverty is a correlate of child maltreatment.  It is important to understand why such a relationship exists, in order to consider how to effectively address it.  I find that much of the existing literature either conflates child maltreatment with CPS involvement, or does not adequately control for competing explanations of an observed association between poverty and child maltreatment or CPS involvement.  The present model offers guidance on how to think about designing research on this topic, with the goal of  contributing to a better understanding of the etiology of these social problems.  See the notes view of the slide for a more detailed explanation of the model.

Last Revised Date 
Wed, 08/14/2019 - 14:09
Social Work
Keywords / Tags 
child maltreatment
child abuse and neglect
Type of resource 
Resource Institution 
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Institution Type 
4 or 4+ year College/University
Recommended Citation 

Slack, K.S. and Berger, L.M. (2017).  An Economic Stress Model of Child Maltreatment and Child Protection System (CPS) Involvement.  Madison, WI:  University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Social Work and Institute for Research on Poverty.