Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




While child neglect is the most substantiated form of child maltreatment, there is a lack of assessment tools leading to effective treatment, particularly among older victims of neglect. To date, the research has focused on younger victims and the subsequent disruption in the attachment relationship. Although development of child neglect assessment tools has been pioneered by an ecological model, the relational nature of this type of maltreatment also necessitates an assessment of relational factors that are highly correlated to child neglect. Because neglect occurs within the caregiver relationship, assessment of interpersonal impairments among older youth can best be guided by relational cultural theory, which postulates people grow and develop through relationships. Accordingly, the Relational Assessment of Neglected Youth (RANY) is a proposed assessment tool aimed at identifying the foundational elements of neglect, the incongruence between neglect and relational growth and development, and the psychological impact of neglect. The development of the RANY depends heavily on the identification of interpersonal elements and is driven by the need for youth and caregiver input. This article constructs a case for the development of the RANY, which proposes to fill the gap in assessment of older victims of neglect and the resultant relational and psychological impairment.