Discipline and Development: A Meta-Analysis of Public Perceptions of Parents, Parenting, Child Development and Child Abuse

by Meg Bostrom

May 1, 2003
This meta-analysis of opinion research 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. The objective of this phase of research is to develop an understanding of the public beliefs that may influence policy support, with the ultimate goal of developing effective communications to advance policy. Since survey results can be skewed by the context of the survey (for example, a survey about balancing work and family will likely result in different assumptions about child care policy than a survey about welfare and poverty), the analysis relies primarily on research for which the entire survey was available. More than 100 surveys and focus group reports were reviewed (totaling thousands of public opinion questions). All surveys were conducted within the past six years, except for specific long-term trends. This report is not intended to represent a catalogue of all available data, nor is it a review of policy evaluation efforts. Rather, this analysis is designed to offer strategic insights that will prove useful to later stages of the research process; accordingly, only the most relevant and useful findings have been incorporated. This research analysis is part of New FrameWorks Research on Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, and was conducted in collaboration with the FrameWorks Institute, and commissioned by Prevent Child Abuse America, with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Please visit our website for more information.
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