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Abstract

Neighbors are believed to have an important influence on child abuse prevention and intervention. This article reports the results of a statewide telephone survey of Kentucky (n = 650) which examined the extent to which respondents suspected neighbors of child abuse (9.4%), and had ever taken in a neighbor's abused or neglected child (7.2%). Variables related to parenting (having a minor child, age, employment status, receiving AFDC benefits) were the only demographic characteristics significantly associated with suspicion of neighbors' abuse; only being the parent of a minor child was significantly associated with taking in a neighbor's child. The results imply that knowledge of and informal intervention in neighbors' child abuse or neglect are related to direct knowledge of the victims through their interactions with one's own children. Programs to enhance neighbors' prevention of or early intervention in child abuse or neglect situations would be most efficient if directed at parents of minor children.

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