IPT Book Reviews

Title: Multiple Victimization of Children  Positive Review
Editors: B. B. Robbie Rossman and Mindy S. Rosenberg
Publisher: The Haworth Press, 1998

The Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press
10 Alice St.
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
(800) 342-9678
$49.95 (c); $24.95 (p)

Abuse of children by adults can take many forms. There is a wide range of behaviors that are held by someone to be abusive. While there is overlap, there are also disagreements about what is abusive. Nevertheless, it appears both reasonable and likely that some children are abused in several different ways simultaneously. This is an important and significant issue. This book is about that possibility.

The 341-page book consists of 17 chapters by a variety of authors. It includes articles that also appear in a journal published by Haworth Press. Some of the chapters are cogent, well-organized, and represent careful efforts to deal with relevant scientific data. Others are primarily propaganda and repeat ill-founded dogmas and the mythology that has been spawned around the tragic reality of child abuse. An illustration is the discussion that summarizes the findings about resilient children who show little or no effect of abuse. Another chapter ignores the findings that many children are not negatively affected, but repeats assertions that all abused children are destroyed for life. The section on treatment of children subjected to multiple forms of abuse has little or no evidence to suggest the efficacy or utility of the therapies suggested.

This book can be read with profit but it must be read carefully with close attention to evaluating the empirical support for any opinions expressed.

Reviewed by Ralph Underwager, Institute for Psychological Therapies.

Order this book: Hardcover Paperback

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