The NSCAW II is a landmark epidemiological study that follows children and families investigated for maltreatment over three years. It uses a fixed panel design with three waves of data collection and has a stratified two-stage sample. The primary sampling units (PSUs) are predominantly county child welfare agencies and the secondary sampling units are children (and their families) chosen from a list of completed investigations at the sampled agencies.
Results from the three papers demonstrate that, regardless of the population under study, parental characteristics, such as substance abuse, mental health and family violence, and parenting behaviors have a robust effect on children’s mental health. Efforts to promote health/mental health equality among these groups may require adaptations to existing prevention and treatment interventions. Furthermore findings suggest the need for a public health approach to prevention that reaches underserved populations.