Physical abuse in children under two: a study of therapeutic outcomes

Child Abuse Negl. 1985;9(1):81-7. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(85)90095-x.


This study of physical abuse to children under the age of 2 addresses the prognosis of the family, compliance with treatment recommendations and the long term outcome of the child. Data were collected from a multidisciplinary evaluation team and from the Department of Human Services' records on 71 children. Nearly all families were referred for mental health counseling and parent training, but only 33% complied. Half of the children were abused more than once; 30% were abused after referral for counseling. The incidence of reabuse was unrelated to compliance with counseling. The majority of children had some out-of-home placement with a mean time in foster care of 11 months and in care of relatives for 24.4 months. In 69% of families, more than one child was abused. At the time of follow-up, 41% of children and 47% of siblings were not living with either parent. Half of the families were judged to be functioning poorly and only nine had made good progress in counseling.

MeSH terms

  • Child Abuse / prevention & control*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Counseling
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Parents / education
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Compliance
  • Psychotherapy
  • Recurrence
  • Tennessee