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Book Reviews and Other Media |

Treatment of Child Abuse: Common Ground for Mental Health, Medical, and Legal Practitioners

Donald C. Bross, JD, PhD, Reviewer
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(7):860. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.7.860.
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Editor Robert Reece and his colleagues have taken on the difficult task of encompassing current understanding of how to manage child abuse, and they have provided a service to practitioners and researchers. As acknowledged by Dr Reece in his preface, their task is not difficult because the literature is vast or overwhelming, it is difficult because there is a lack of integrating theory and the absence of a tradition of experimental study. Reece also notes that establishing treatment norms is difficult when professionals don't always agree about "philosophy and the approach to treatment." The last chapter of the book, by Cris Ratiner, PhD, might be read early. Ratiner summarizes what has been attempted in the field and in the book and addresses directly how little of what we think we know rests on rigorous research. He also considers the obstacles to good research on behavioral treatment in this area. His conclusion, in the last paragraph of the book, states that "There may be more agreement about the need for treatment research regarding child abuse and neglect than about any other single issue regarding abuse."

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