Abuse and Neglect

child abuse

There is broad acceptance of the reality and pervasiveness of child abuse, extending even beyond physical abuse to emotional abuse. The problem arises in how to capitalize and build upon this understanding, taking people to the next level of public engagement without bringing into play the inevitable backlash that is likely due to conflicts over public values and policies.  Our research identifies promising ways to reframe these issues in ways that engage people in prevention, motivate them to prioritize proven policies and programs, and overcome existing mental roadblocks.

Our Funders

Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Research & Recommendations

Summary Message Memo: FrameWorks' Analysis of Frame Effects on PCAA Policies and Implications for Messaging (2009). This message memo incorporates additional quantitative research into revised and expanded communications recommendations.

A comprehensive strategic message memo, Making the Public Case for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention (2004), synthesizes our research findings and recommends strategies to communicate more effectively about child abuse and neglect.

Discipline and Development: A Meta-Analysis of Public Perceptions of Parents, Parenting, Child Development and Child Abuse (2003).  This report is based on a review of PCA America’s research on child abuse, as well as existing, publicly available opinion research regarding parenting, child development, child abuse and discipline, and the political landscape for child abuse prevention policies.

How the News Frames Child Maltreatment: Unintended Consequences (2003).  This report summarizes some of the major patterns in news coverage of child maltreatment – the key narratives, frames and causal stories that are conveyed to the public on the issue.

Two Cognitive Obstacles to Preventing Child Abuse: The 'Other Mind' Mistake and the 'Family Bubble' (2003).  A report on a series of cognitive interviews that identifies two common mistakes in thinking that the public makes about child abuse prevention, and recommendations on how to overcome them.

Developing Community Connections: Qualitative Research Regarding Framing Policies (2003).  A report of findings from focus groups designed to test the impact of four frames about child abuse and neglect: Child Abuse, Parenting, Child Development, and Community.

Our Products and Tools

Talking Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Toolkit contains Frequently Asked Questions, talking points, and other communications resources on this issue. 


FrameWorks Institute

  Updated: 06/24/16