Critical, Habermasian Examinations of Research on Child Maltreatment: a Review of the Literature

Zion Barnetz, Lia Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study was designed in order to carry out a novel analysis of recent research efforts and to examine the inner balance within the academic corpus of knowledge on child maltreatment. Of 825 papers published in the field of child maltreatment between the years 2010–2015, 104 were randomly selected for critical review using a Facet Theory framework. All 104 papers were classified using a threefold mapping sentence addressing: knowledge (technical, phenomenological, emancipating), perspective (theory, worker, client), and system (micro, meso, macro). The findings show a clear preference for theory-focused, technical knowledge research on the micro level, at the expense of critical and phenomenological research on the meso and macro levels. Our discussion focuses on the toll taken by this imbalance within the current literature, in terms of the corpus of knowledge generated to support future efforts in research, policy, and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-61
Number of pages11
JournalChildhood Vulnerability Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Child maltreatment
  • Critical review
  • Facet theory
  • Habermas
  • Knowledge Corpus


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