Some authors point to growing public awareness and financial stress on families to explain the increased number of child maltreatment reports over the past decade. This paper tests the relative importance of these two factors in explaining the increase. It compares and evaluates two conceptual models to see how well they predict the surge in child maltreatment reports over the last decade and the variability of reports across communities. A better understanding of the factors associated with child maltreatment will aid social service agencies in their attempt to mitigate further maltreatment of children. Copyright 1992 Western Economic Association International.
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