Fathers, physical child abuse, and neglect: Advancing the knowledge base

Shawna J. Lee, Jennifer L. Bellamy, Neil B. Guterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fathers are overrepresented as perpetrators of physical child maltreatment, particularly in its most severe forms. Despite this, the research literature continues to lack specificity regarding the role fathers play in risk for physical child abuse or neglect (PCAN). Furthermore, although fathers have received more attention with respect to child sexual abuse and its treatment, their influence has been largely disregarded in many intervention efforts to reduce PCAN. Inadequate attention to the role of fathers, both in research and practice, has numerous problematic implications for the prevention of child maltreatment. The goal of this special issue is to disseminate new research that examines fathers' roles by focusing on multiple fathering factors that may directly and indirectly shape both maternal and paternal risk of engaging in PCAN. In the introduction to the special issue, we highlight key questions in the research literature and present our perspective on how the articles included in this special issue address some of these gaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalChild Maltreatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Child welfare services/child protection
  • Fathers
  • Intervention research
  • Physical abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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