Research on child mistreatment tends to focus on the mother or the father as the abusing parent, even though there is wide agreement that both theory and practice should deal with child maltreatment as a family system problem. Most children have the benefit or the risk of more than one caretaker for substantial periods of their lives, most often two parents or stepparents. This article is intended to illustrate the value of research which uses concordance analysis (CA) to identify children who experienced three dyadic concordance types (DCTs) of mistreatment: father-only, mother-only, or both parents, including single-parent combinations of caretakers. A concordance approach that identifies possible abusers in addition to the presenting parent using the three DCTs is a practical first step toward a family system perspective to enhance child abuse theory, research, and practice.
- family system