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Attending to Neglect: Using Metaphors and Explanatory Chains to Reframe Child Neglect in the United Kingdom

Because neglect is the absence of something, it can be hard for people to think about. Explanatory techniques can help us build understanding of child neglect.
March 3, 2015

This report details the results of a survey experiment testing the effectiveness of Explanatory Metaphors and Explanatory Chains for enhancing the British public’s understanding of child neglect: what neglect is, what causes neglect, and how neglect can be addressed through programs and policies. The results of this framing experiment demonstrate that the Explanatory Metaphor “Overloaded” and the Explanatory Chain “Equipping Parents” in particular increase knowledge about child neglect and increase public support for effective policy solutions. These framing strategies represent an important part of an emerging Core Story for communicating about child maltreatment in the UK.