Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Study claims recession caused abuse

A reader sends this story as an axample of a junk child abuse study:
AP) CHICAGO — An increase in child abuse, mostly in infants, is linked with the recent recession in new research that raises fresh concerns about the impact of the nation's economic woes.
The results are in a study of 422 abused children from mostly lower-income families, known to face greater risks for being abused, and the research involved just 74 counties in four states.

But lead author Dr. Rachel Berger of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh said the results confirm anecdotal reports from many pediatricians who've seen increasing numbers of shaken baby cases and other forms of brain-injuring abuse. ...

He said pediatricians could help with prevention by asking families about difficulties paying for food or shelter and referring those in need to social service agencies. Sometimes just asking parents about stresses in their lives and acknowledging their struggles can help, he said.

Most parents who abuse young children aren't "ill-intentioned," he said. "Most of it is kind of just snapping...maybe being sleep-deprived and just losing it. It's something that can happen to anyone. Economics is just another stress" that can increase the risks, Sherman said.
Here is the study. It is not really a scientific study, but a pediatrician study in a pediatrician journal.

The increase is probably just a result of over-diagnosis. If unemployment really caused infant child abuse, then you would expect abuse rates to go back down after a recession, and higher abuse rates in counties with higher unemployment. But this study found none of that.

The article admits:
Federal government data suggest that the recession did not affect child abuse rates. But the study authors said thohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifse numbers are based on reports from child protective services, not medical diagnoses, and did not address brain injuries specifically.
So the federal numbers are different because CPS ignores the medical diagnoses?

I would not trust the medical diagnoses either, as there is consider doubt about Shaken baby syndrome. It appears to be just a big fad, with very little science to back it up. There have been many false prosecutions. It happens when a baby dies from disease or trauma, the parent shakes the baby in an attempt to revive him, and then overzealous authorities prosecute when the parent admits to shaking.

Just ask yourself, were a lot of babies shaken to death during the Great Depression? I doubt it. It sounds to me like a scheme for social workers to get some money out of the next Obama stimulus bill.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

CPS is on a witch hunt.

Sadly, like with you being placed on that list George, they can go around sticking a scarlet letter on anyone they want.