Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1986

Volume 11 Issue 4

Systems for Managing Child Maltreatment in Australia: A Study of the Six States

Peter Boss

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Peter Boss


1 Monash University, Clayton, Victoria

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Child abuse constitutes a social problem whose dimensions we cannot yet quite grasp and whose causes are as multi-faceted as they are difficult to identify. Over the past two decades or so, ever since the re-awakening of interest in the topic, there has been an abundance of theorising and speculating about causes of child abuse. Theories which attempt to explain child abuse have ranged from the individual - psychological and specific deviant behaviour (like alcoholism and other types of addiction) - to socio-economic factors, faulty child-parent relationships, lack of family support resources and many more. Each of these theories, even if underdeveloped, has something to contribute to our understanding but none, by itself, has enabled us to say that if only we concentrate our resources on it we will be able to tackle child abuse at its very roots. What we have begun to learn is that we are dealing with a complex situation.

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