• Neighborhood and Cumulative Ecological Risk: Predicting Physical Abuse and Neglect in an Urban Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) Sample

      Moon, Catherine Anne; Harrington, Donna; Shaw, Terry V.; 0000-0001-9301-2606 (2018)
      The "role of cultural processes, social stratification influences, [and] ecological variations" (Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, 2014, p. 12) in the etiology of child abuse and neglect remains elusive despite a proliferation of studies over the past 40 years. This study seeks to further the knowledge base by longitudinally modeling cumulative ecological risk for child physical abuse and neglect, with a specific focus on the additive contribution of neighborhood structure and process. The Ecological-Transactional Framework (Cicchetti and Lynch, 1993) is used to conceptualize and organize the place of risk markers where cumulative risk theory (Rutter, 1979) is used to guide the analysis. This study combines two sources of secondary data (1) individual risk markers and parents' perceptions of their neighborhood process from the LONGSCAN Eastern site with (2) contemporaneous (1990) census indicators of neighborhood social disorganization. The risk markers and neighborhood structure and process at age six are used to predict child physical abuse and neglect from age 6 through 18. Participants (n=188) were experiencing elevated levels of ecological cumulative risk on the ontogenic and microsystem levels, per the sampling design of the Eastern study site. Further, the characteristics participants' exosystem, or neighborhood level, indicated elevated social distress as measured by The Social Distress Scale (Hyde, 2002). Neighborhood process at age 6 were associated with child report of neglect between ages 13 and 16, however, neighborhood structure was not associated with neglect and physical abuse. The findings suggest the necessity for further study with more diverse samples.