Straus and Gelles believe that cultural standards permit violence in the family.
The family, which is the center of love and security in most children's lives, is also the place where the child is punished, sometimes physically.
Unlike most studies of child abuse, the data from these surveys came from detailed interviews with the general population, not from cases that came to the attention of official agencies and professionals.
Straus and Gelles therefore had a more intimate knowledge of the families and an awareness of incidences of child abuse that were not reported to authorities or community professionals.
According to "Child Maltreatment: Fact Sheet" (April 2006, which is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a family may also be at risk if: Psychological abuse can cause great harm to children but tends to be less well recognized than physical or sexual abuse or neglect.
In "Family Dynamics Associated with the Use of Psychologically Violent Parental Practices" (Journal of Family Violence, April 2004), Marie-Hélène Gagné and Camil Bouchard identify four family characteristics that are likely to result in parental psychological violence.
NIS-3 found that under the Harm Standard (see Chapter 2 for a definition of the Harm Standard and Endangerment Standard), children in single-parent households were at a higher risk of physical abuse and all types of neglect than were children in other family structures.
About one-fifth (19.6%) were five years Sedlak and Broadhurst note that the increase in illicit drug use since the Second National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (1986) may have contributed to the increased child maltreatment incidence reported in NIS-3. Department of Health and Human Services, about one-third to two-thirds of substantiated child maltreatment reports (those having sufficient evidence to support the allegation of maltreatment) involve substance abuse.She controls the household, and the children are expected to do as she bids.The fourth family characteristic involves the "broken parent," who has not attained maturity and a feeling of self-worth because of a difficult past.Nonetheless, even "explosive combinations" do not necessarily lead to child abuse. Hughes in the Field Guide to Child Welfare (1998), a family at high to moderate risk includes parents who do not understand basic child development and who may discipline inappropriately for the child's age; those who lack the necessary skills for caring for and managing a child; those who use physical punishment harshly and excessively; and those who do not appropriately supervise their children.While it is impossible to determine whether child maltreatment will occur, generally a family may be at risk if the parent is young, has little education, has had several children born within a few years, and is highly dependent on social welfare. Furthermore, families under stress are more likely to produce abusive parents and abused or neglected children, such as during divorce or other problems with adult relationships, death, illness, disability, incarceration, or loss of a job, according to Rycus and Hughes.Straus and Smith find that a combination of several factors is more likely to result in child abuse than is a single factor alone.