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Child Maltreatment, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the Public Health Approach: A Systematic Literature Review

Abstract

This study provides a systematic literature review of peer-reviewed research articles from 2011 to 2021 that examine child maltreatment or adverse childhood experiences from a public health perspective. Twelve articles met the inclusion criteria. The evidence was synthesized and reported following the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis procedure (PRISMA). Researchers sought to understand how current literature applies a public health approach to child maltreatment and adverse childhood experiences, as well as how that research addresses primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of child maltreatment and adverse childhood experiences. The articles were categorized into one of the four steps of the commonly used public health model including surveillance; identification of risk and protective factors; development and testing of interventions; and implementation of effective prevention and control strategies. Two articles were also categorized outside of that model, with a focus on stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Some of the articles were categorized into multiple steps within the model. In addition, the articles encompass primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention strategies. Recommendations for policy, practice, and future research are included.

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Correspondence to Selena T. Garrison.

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Garrison, S.T., Gillen, M., King, L.M. et al. Child Maltreatment, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the Public Health Approach: A Systematic Literature Review. Int. Journal on Child Malt. (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42448-022-00122-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42448-022-00122-z

Keywords

  • Child maltreatment
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • ACEs
  • Public health