Child Abuse Head Injuries Increased During Recession, Study Finds
Despite earlier reports thatِ child abuse didِ not increase duringِ the economic recession ofِ 2007 toِ 2009, a newِ study finds thatِ atِ least oneِ measure ofِ abusiveness wentِ upِ inِ several areas ofِ the U.S.
duringِ the hard times ofِ the recession compared withِ theِ years prior, according toِ a study published today (Sept.
The presence ofِ anِ association betweenِ the economy andِ the AHT rate shouldِ beِ sufficient toِ spur a discussion ofِ specific stressors, theyِ wrote inِ their report.
Abuse in hard times
Led byِ Rachel Berger, a professor ofِ pediatrics atِ Children’s Hospital ofِ Pittsburgh, theِ study researchers gathered data onِ abusive head trauma inِ children underِ theِ age ofِ 5 inِ three geographic regions: sixِ counties nearِ Seattle, Wash., 23 counties inِ western Pennsylvania, andِ 45 counties inِ Ohio andِ northern Kentucky.
The counties wereِ chosen becauseِ each wasِ served byِ only oneِ trauma center andِ each hadِ a trained child abuse protection team madeِ up ofِ the sameِ staff members overِ the five-and-a-half year study period.
1, 2004, andِ June 30, 2009, 422 kids inِ allِ three regions wereِ diagnosed withِ abusive head trauma.
Watching out for child abuse
Although thisِ study can’tِ definitively prove thatِ the recession caused theِ additional trauma, thereِ isِ precedent toِ theِ theory thatِ economic stress makesِ child abuse worse.
A 1981 study published inِ the journal Child Development foundِ that abuse wentِ upِ when unemployment did.
The current study foundِ no link betweenِ local unemployment rates andِ abusive head trauma, butِ economic data onِ unemployment doesn’tِ take intoِ account underemployment orِ people whoِ haveِ givenِ up onِ finding work, theِ researchers wrote.