In recent decades, child abuse has come to be considered a social problem of significant scope and has, therefore, attracted intense public and scholarly interest. Yet, in spite of efforts by scholars, professionals, government agencies, concerned individuals and organizations, and the media of public communications, misconceptions prevail concerning the nature, sources, and dynamics of this destructive phenomenon and concerning effective approaches to its primary prevention. Such conceptual shortcomings, and a related persistent failure to design effective policies and programs for the primary prevention of child abuse, seem to be due to a number of obstacles.

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