PHILADELPHIA -- Despite predictions to the contrary, the incidence of child abuse did not rise with the implementation of welfare reform.
After analyzing data from a number of national sources on child abuse and neglect, Richard J. Gelles, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania, concluded that, not only did maltreatment of children in the United States not increase after the 1996 passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, the opposite happened.
"All the doomsday scenarios predicting that families, and especially children, would be direct victims of this legislation just didn't happen," Gelles said.
Among the data sources Gelles used in his research were the National Incidence Survey of Reported and Recognized Child Maltreatment, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, Prevent Child Abuse America Reports from the States and the State Automated Child Welfare Information System.
The rate of confirmed child maltreatment, according to the NCANDS data, increased from 1990 to 1993, decreased slightly between 1993 and 1996 and then declined steeply between 1996 and 1999 before increasing again in 2000. Reports of child abuse and neglect have stabilized at about 3 million children per year.
Could it be that forcing people to take responsibility for earning a living caused them to become more responsible toward their children as well?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 November 30 02:58 PM Human Nature|