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Maltreatment prevention through early childhood intervention: A confirmatory evaluation of the Chicago Child-Parent Center preschool program

  • Mersky, Joshua P.
  • Topitzes, James D.
  • Reynolds, Arthur J.
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    Increased recognition of the consequences associated with child maltreatment has led to greater emphasis on its prevention. Promising maltreatment prevention strategies have been identified, but research continues to suffer from methodological limitations and a narrow focus on select prevention models. This investigation uses data from the Chicago Longitudinal Study to examine mediating mechanisms that link the Chicago Child-Parent Center preschool program to a reduction in overall child maltreatment and, more specifically, child neglect. We use structural equation modeling to test child, family, and school measures hypothesized to mediate the effects of CPC participation on maltreatment and neglect. Results indicate that a substantial proportion of the program's impacts can be accounted for by family support processes, including increased parent involvement in school and maternal educational attainment as well as decreased family problems. The CPC program's association with reduced school mobility and increased attendance in higher-quality schools also significantly mediated its effects on maltreatment and neglect. Further, a decrease in troublemaking behavior contributed modestly to mediating the program's association with maltreatment but not neglect. We discuss the implications of these results for the field of maltreatment prevention.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740911001447
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1454-1463

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:33:y:2011:i:8:p:1454-1463
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

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    1. Barnard, Wendy Miedel, 2004. "Parent involvement in elementary school and educational attainment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 39-62, January.
    2. Arteaga, Irma & Chen, Chin-Chih & Reynolds, Arthur J., 2010. "Childhood predictors of adult substance abuse," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1108-1120, August.
    3. Reynolds, Arthur J. & Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ou, Suh-Ruu, 2010. "Preschool-to-third grade programs and practices: A review of research," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1121-1131, August.
    4. Reynolds, Arthur J. & Temple, Judy A. & Ou, Suh-Ruu, 2010. "Preschool education, educational attainment, and crime prevention: Contributions of cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1054-1063, August.
    5. Nan Astone & Sara McLanahan, 1994. "Family structure, residential mobility, and school dropout: A research note," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 575-584, November.
    6. Mersky, Joshua P. & Topitzes, James, 2010. "Comparing early adult outcomes of maltreated and non-maltreated children: A prospective longitudinal investigation," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1086-1096, August.
    7. Mehana, Majida & Reynolds, Arthur J., 2004. "School mobility and achievement: a meta-analysis," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 93-119, January.
    8. Stone, Susan, 2007. "Child maltreatment, out-of-home placement and academic vulnerability: A fifteen-year review of evidence and future directions," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 139-161, February.
    9. Palusci, Vincent J. & Crum, Pat & Bliss, Rosalynn & Bavolek, Stephen J., 2008. "Changes in parenting attitudes and knowledge among inmates and other at-risk populations after a family nurturing program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 79-89, January.
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