Child Abuse and Neglect | Impact

Using Data to Inform Action

Establishing Safe, Stable, and Nurturing Relationships & Environments is a CDC-funded initiative designed to create systems-level changes that will decrease child maltreatment. The results from the IPRC’s evaluations of this initiative have been used to inform practice, including the design of a social norms campaign implemented by Prevent Child Abuse NC. IPRC faculty also worked with the NC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to create a case definition for child maltreatment deaths. This case definition was applied to ten years of medical examiner data & presented to the Intentional Death Committee of the NC Child Fatality Task Force.

Our Impact on Policy and Practice

Translating Child Abuse and Neglect Research into Recommendations for Policy and Practice

One of the IPRC’s major achievements is Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN), a ground-breaking 20-year study of child maltreatment led by Dr. Des Runyan, resulting in more than 270 peer-reviewed publications. To ensure that these unique findings were translated into policy and practice, the IPRC undertook an extensive dissemination effort with funding support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Meetings were held with key stakeholders in child maltreatment intervention and prevention, as well as policy makers at a Federal Congressional Briefing and other stakeholder groups such as the NC Child Fatality Task Force and the National Resource Center for Child Protective Services.

Enhanced Surveillance to Improve Estimates of Child Abuse and Neglect

IPRC researchers have led projects to integrate multiple data sources to provide a more accurate estimate of the incidence of child abuse and neglect in Alaska. Data sources include the Alaska Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS), child protective services, police department, Child Advocacy Center, vital records, and child death review data, as well as an administrative data source to track out-of-state emigration.

In Wake County, North Carolina, child protective services, police department, and medical examiner data were linked to obtain rates of confirmed and possible child abuse and neglect. This project demonstrated to local agencies the importance of tracking both confirmed and possible cases to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the occurrence of child maltreatment in North Carolina.

A State-Wide Evaluation of "PURPLE Crying"

Research Informs Interventions to Prevent Abusive Head Trauma in Infants

IPRC researchers led a statewide evaluation of the Period of PURPLE Crying®, a parent education and media intervention designed to prevent abusive head trauma, or shaken baby syndrome, in infants. This study represented the largest intervention investigation of an abusive head trauma program coupled with a rigorous, comprehensive evaluation. Implementation of the Period of PURPLE Crying® in every birthing hospital in North Carolina and subsequent evaluation led to multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals and provided invaluable insights for future prevention efforts.

Click here to view the IPRC’s core and affiliate faculty publications