Child Abuse and Neglect is the third volume sponsored by the Social Science Research Council. The goals of these volumes include the development of a biosocial perspective and its application to the interface between biological and social phenomena in order to advance the understanding of human behavior.
Child Abuse and Neglect applies the biosocial perspective to child maltreatment and maladaptation in parent-child relations. The biosocial perspective is particularly appropriate for investigating parent behavior since the family is the universal social institution in which children are born and reared, in which cultural traditions and values are transmitted, and in which individuals fulfill their biological potential for reproduction, growth, and development. The volume examines biological substrates and social and environmental contexts as determinants of parent behavior. By identifying areas in which contemporary human parent behaviors conform with and depart from evolutionary and historical patterns and assessing the overall costs and benefits, it permits their objective assessment in terms of modern circumstances. In analyzing evolutionary and historical variations in parent behavior and assessing their costs and benefits, the book makes possible an objective assessment of contemporary variations. Its analysis of the occurrence of child abuse in past history and in other cultures and species advances our ability to predict the probability of child abuse and neglect in various social and ecological contexts.
About the Editors:
Richard J. Gelles is dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania, where he holds the Joanne T. and Raymond H. Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence. He is the author of The Violent Home: A Study of Physical Aggression Between Husbands and Wives, Family Violence, and Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family.
Jane B. Lancaster is professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Her research mainly focuses on evolution of human parental investment, fertility decisions, intelligence, and lifespan. She serves as editor of a major journal in the field, Human Nature: An Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective. Her work has appeared in many professional journals, including Evolution and Human Behavior, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and Current Anthropology.