Nature and severity of physical harm caused by child abuse and neglect: results from the Canadian Incidence Study

Trocme, Nico; MacMillan, Harriet; Fallon, Barbara; De Marco, Richard
October 2003
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;10/28/2003, Vol. 169 Issue 9, p911
Academic Journal
Background: Despite growing public concern about child maltreatment, the scope and severity of this significant public health issue remains poorly understood. This article examines the nature and severity of the physical harm associated with reports of child maltreatment documented in the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS). Methods: The CIS collected information directly from child welfare investigators about cases of reported child abuse or neglect. A multistage sampling design was used to track child maltreatment investigations conducted at selected sites from October to December 1998. The analyses were based on the sample of 3780 cases in which child maltreatment was substantiated. Results: Some type of physical harm was documented in 18% of substantiated cases; most of these involved bruises, cuts and scrapes. In 4% of substantiated cases, harm was severe enough to require medical attention, and in less than 1% of substantiated cases, medical attention was sought for broken bones or head trauma. Harm was noted most often in cases of physical abuse compared to other forms of maltreatment. Interpretation: Rates of physical harm were lower than expected. Current emphasis on mandatory reporting, abuse investigations and risk assessment may need to be tempered for cases in which physical harm is not the central concern.


Related Articles

  • NO ONE TO COMPLAIN TO.  // Community Care;1/15/2004, Issue 1505, p5 

    Comments on the lack of officers appointed by local authorities in England and Wales who are dedicated to dealing with complaints from abused children. Overview of the recommendations given by Sir Ronald Waterhouse regarding the abuse of children in north Wales children's homes in 2000;...

  • Child abuse. Riordon, Michael // Body Politic;Aug78, Issue 45, p10 

    Presents an article about a child abuse experience. Publications considered outstanding by or about gay people as of August 1978; Importance of separating personal feelings from professional standards; Factors that drive many children into mental collapse.

  • The Price of Privacy in the Social Dynamics of Child Abuse. Garbarino, James // Child Welfare;Nov77, Vol. 56 Issue 9, p565 

    Under certain conditions, family isolation serves as the catalytic agent for child abuse. Privacy that excludes intrusive kinship and neighborhood networks can be a danger to children.

  • Enabling Public Child Welfare Agencies to Promote Family Preservation. Pelton, Leroy H. // Social Work;Jul93, Vol. 38 Issue 4, p491 

    The article discusses about welfare agencies that has taken the tasks of promoting the family preservation by enabling public child. During the past three decades, increasingly wider spheres of child welfare problems, many of which are related to poverty, have been characterized as child abuse...

  • Child Abuse and Society's Response. Kocol, Cleo // Humanist;Sep/Oct88, Vol. 48 Issue 5, p39 

    Discusses child abuse and society's response. Cites four cases of child abuse and the questions they raise; Child abuse laws that did not exist prior to 1874 in the United States; Question of how much evidence is needed; Need for abuse prevention programs.

  • Teachers' reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect: behaviour and determinants. Goebbels, A. F. G.; Nicholson, J. M.; Walsh, K.; Vries, H. De // Health Education Research;Dec2008, Vol. 23 Issue 6, p941 

    By reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, teachers can make an important contribution to the early detection and prevention of abuse. However, teachers are sometimes reluctant to report their suspicions. This study investigated the determinants of teachers' reporting behaviour using...

  • Lost in the system . Stein, Lisa // U.S. News & World Report;1/20/2003, Vol. 134 Issue 2, p13 

    It was an unthinkable crime: two little boys found starving, locked in the basement of a Newark, New Jersey, house with the remains of their brother, Faheem Williams. Police say the boys' mother, Melinda Williams, had placed Tyrone Hill and twins Raheem and Faheem in cousin Sherry Murphy's care...

  • Queens Library Tackles Child Abuse. Cheatham, Bertha M.; Cohen, Andrew // School Library Journal;Nov89, Vol. 35 Issue 15, p12 

    Discusses the efforts of the Queens Borough Public Library in Jamaica, New York to offer programs that educate children about child abuse. Consideration of a series of programs run by the Child Abuse Prevention Program (CAPP); Use of puppets to demonstrate actions of physical and sexual abuse;...

  • Studying child abuse and neglect in Canada: We are just at the beginning. Ward, Michelle G.K.; Bennett, Susan // CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;10/28/2003, Vol. 169 Issue 9, p919 

    Presents a study on the physical harm associated with child maltreatment in Canada. Categories of maltreatment; Percentage of maltreatment cases with physical harm; Rate of physical harm to children exposed to domestic violence.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics