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World Perspectives on Child Abuse (9th Edition)

The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) is pleased to announce the release of the Ninth Edition of World Perspectives on Child Abuse. This publication offers a unique view of the state of child maltreatment policy and practice. Edited by Jenny Gray and sponsored by American Humane Association, OAK Foundation and Public Health Agency of Canada.

ISBN-13: 978-0-9787530-2-3
ISBN-10: 0-9787530-2-X


Member Pricing: $40.00 USD
Non-Member Pricing: $45.00 USD


To purchase a copy of World Perspectives on Child Abuse, please visit ISPCAN's online store. For more information, contact


The Executive Summary is available for download in the following languages:








The International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) initiated its World Perspectives on Child Abuse: An International Resource Book in 1992, as part of the Ninth International Congress on Child Maltreatment held in Chicago, Illinois. Since that time, eight editions of this publication have been produced and released at subsequent biennial Congresses sponsored by ISPCAN. This document is the Ninth Edition in the series and is being released in conjunction with the 18th International Congress being held in Hawai'i, USA. All of these efforts have sought to bring attention and understanding to the worldwide problem of child abuse and neglect and to highlight key differences across national policies in this area.



The Ninth Edition of World Perspectives has a particular focus on child maltreatment data and is divided into seven sections. Section I includes the commentaries obtained from respondents on innovative studies or major issues they have faced in developing their local child abuse response systems. These 11 commentaries cover two broad areas – the use of research to improve policy and practice efforts addressing child abuse, and research on the incidence or impacts of child maltreatment. As a group, they underscore the variability that exists in how child abuse is defined and addressed worldwide and how this variability presents unique challenges in crafting international policy or training to address child maltreatment and child protection.


Section II includes five articles describing diverse aspects of data collection: the challenges and issues raised in efforts to include child maltreatment questions in a large health survey of the general population; an overview of the recent developments and initiatives concerning child abuse and neglect data collection in Greece and South East Europe; a public health perspective to child abuse and neglect; and, the use of child helpline data to understand the magnitude of maltreatment in a very specific group of children who uses a children's helpline.

Section III presents the findings from representatives from nine countries who were invited to give a short impression of maltreatment data collection methods and trends in their area. Each contribution presents country specific data on child maltreatment and is organized around 5 central topics: legal aspects; data collection methods and systems; maltreatment patterns; strengths and limitations; and future plans and directions.


Section IV provides an overview of the recent activities and future plans in different countries worldwide. A short questionnaire, sent out to all members of ISPCAN's Working Group on Child Maltreatment Data and its partner organisations, comprised of open questions on the most important national developments in the field of child abuse and neglect in the last two years and on the three national key challenges regarding child protection at the moment. Additionally, the questionnaire inquired about the presence of national data collection programs, about their affiliation, about responsibility for operation, and about future perspectives of these programs. Moreover, another open question asked whether other non-regular data collection activities, for example those related to research, were done. This section summarizes the findings and provides a discussion of future directions for national data collection programs.


Section V provides an executive summary of the findings related to the child parental discipline module of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) of households in 35 middle and low income countries. The child discipline items in the module provide one of the few resources available to the field of child protection to help develop a more complete understanding of the prevalence of child disciplinary practices in a cross national context. The MICS3 implementation is also the first and most comprehensive effort to collect such data from middle and low income countries. The data are an important source of information for policy makers, health and social service delivery practitioners, researchers and the general public.


Section VI includes an annotated bibliography incorporating research from over 35 countries and summarizing 89 journal articles and reports published between March of 2008 through to the end of May 2010. The bibliography touches on a wide variety of topics, from the correlation between childhood maltreatment and obsessive-compulsive symptoms and beliefs later in life to attachment-based interventions for families where child maltreatment is a concern. It begins with cross-national studies and then follows with literature organized by country in alphabetic order.


UNICEF Indicators intended to reflect a country's level of national and child well-being and a list of international and national resources are presented in Appendices A and B respectively.

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