ADVANTAGES

infancy. Until recently, research on the consequences of physical and sexual child abuse and neglect has been based primarily on retrospective studies of adolescents or adults that are subject to clinical bias and inaccurate recall (Aber and Cicchetti, 1984). Research on the consequences of abuse is also challenged by the hidden nature of much abuse and because these experiences may not come to anyone's attention until years after they occur. Maltreatment often occurs in the presence of multiple problems within a family or social environment, including poverty, violence, substance abuse, and unemployment. Distinguishing consequences that are associated directly with the experience of child maltreatment itself rather than other social disorders is a daunting task for the research investigator.

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