Child Abuse & Neglect

Child abuse and neglect include acts of commission or omission by a parent or other caregiver that result in harm, potential for harm, or threat of harm to a child.  The five primary forms of maltreatment are physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, emotional maltreatment and exposure to domestic violence.

For a document that outlines definitions of frequently used terms in child abuse and neglect research, see the page with the glossary of social work and child maltreatment related terms.

You can get more information on the signs of child maltreatment from the Family Violence Initiative, operated by the Department of Justice of Canada. You can also contact Kid’s Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 for further information.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or are looking for information about services for children or families experiencing difficulties you can contact your local child welfare authority. Click here to find the local child authority agency in your province or territory. Please visit our FAQs section to learn more about child abuse and neglect.

Title Authorssort icon Year Type of Publication
Secondary Analysis of Data from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect

Zuravin, Susan J.

2001 Presentation
Supporting the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers in foster care

Wotherspoon, Evelyn
Petrowski, Nicole

2008 Information sheet
Emotional trauma in infancy

Wotherspoon, Evelyn
Hawkins, Erinn
Gough, Pamela

2009 Information sheet
Assessing Emotional Neglect in Infants

Wotherspoon, Evelyn
Gough, Pamela

2008 Information sheet
Dating Violence Prevention With At-Risk Youth: A Controlled Outcome Evaluation

Wolfe, David
Wekerle, Christine
Scott, Katreena
Straatman, Anna-Lee
Grasley, Carolyn
Reitzel-Jaffe, Deborah

2003 Journal article
Predicting Abuse in Adolescent Dating Relationships Over 1 Year: The Role of Child Maltreatment and Trauma

Wolfe, David
Wekerle, Christine
Scott, Katreena
Straatman, Anna-Lee
Grasley, Carolyn

2004 Journal article
Child Maltreatment: Risk of Adjustment Problems and Dating Violence in Adolescence

Wolfe, David
Scott, Katreena
Wekerle, Christine
Pittmam, Anna-Lee

 

2001 Journal article
The Effects of Children's Exposure to Domestic Violence: A Meta-Analysis and Critique

Wolfe, David
Crooks, Claire
Lee, Vivien
McIntyre-Smith, Alexandra
Jaffe, Peter

2004 Journal article
Child Maltreatment, Bullying, Gender-Based Harassment, and Adolescent Dating Violence: Making the Connections

Wolfe, David
Crooks, Claire C.
Chiodo, Debbie
Jaffe, Peter

2009 Journal article
Distinguishing between poor/dysfunctional parenting and child emotional maltreatment

Wolfe, David A.
McIssac, Caroline

 

2012 Report