Presentation Title

The Inclusivity of Emotional Abuse Definitions and Interest Groups

Presentation Type

Presentation

Full Name of Faculty Mentor

Adam Chamberlain, Politics

Major

Political Science

Presentation Abstract

Cases of emotional abuse involving children have been previously associated with long lasting physical and psychological issues among those who experience it. Previous research has linked the significant underreporting of emotional abuse cases with the use of vague and unclear definitions of emotional abuse as it involves minors. Creating a concise and inclusive definition has proven to be difficult because of a lack in physical evidence to support claims, thus each of the 50 US states have a different definition for what constitutes emotional abuse. Yet, why do definitions vary in the first place? Here, I hypothesize that states with more interest groups focused on child welfare will lead to clearer, more strict definitions of emotional abuse. Using counts of these interest groups in each of the 50 states, I find no statistical connection between the number of interest groups in a state and a more inclusive legal definition of child emotional abuse. Other factors, such as state income and political ideology, also cannot explain these differences. Given the results of the research, questions of whether a federal definition would be necessary are proposed, but left unexplored for future research.

Location

Room 3

Start Date

22-4-2021 1:00 PM

End Date

22-4-2021 1:20 PM

Disciplines

Political Science

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Apr 22nd, 1:00 PM Apr 22nd, 1:20 PM

The Inclusivity of Emotional Abuse Definitions and Interest Groups

Room 3

Cases of emotional abuse involving children have been previously associated with long lasting physical and psychological issues among those who experience it. Previous research has linked the significant underreporting of emotional abuse cases with the use of vague and unclear definitions of emotional abuse as it involves minors. Creating a concise and inclusive definition has proven to be difficult because of a lack in physical evidence to support claims, thus each of the 50 US states have a different definition for what constitutes emotional abuse. Yet, why do definitions vary in the first place? Here, I hypothesize that states with more interest groups focused on child welfare will lead to clearer, more strict definitions of emotional abuse. Using counts of these interest groups in each of the 50 states, I find no statistical connection between the number of interest groups in a state and a more inclusive legal definition of child emotional abuse. Other factors, such as state income and political ideology, also cannot explain these differences. Given the results of the research, questions of whether a federal definition would be necessary are proposed, but left unexplored for future research.

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