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.

Titlesort icon Authors Year Type of Publication
Cortisol response to stress in female youths exposed to childhood maltreatment: Results of the youth mood project

MacMillan, Harriet
Georgiades, Katholiki
Duku, Eric K.
Shea, Alison
Steiner, Meir
Niec, Anne
Tanaka, Masako
Gensey, Susan
Spree, Sandra
Vella, Emily
Walsh, Christine A.
De Bellis, Michael D.
Van der Meulen, John
Boyle, Michael H.
Schmidt, Louis A.

2009 Journal article
Critical Injuries and Deaths: Reviews and Investigations Update # 20

British Columbia Representative for Children and Youth

2014 Report
Cumulative stress and substantiated maltreatment: The importance of caregiver vulnerability and adult partner violence

Wekerle, Christine
Wall, Anne-Marie
Leung, Eman
Trocmé, Nico

2007 Journal article
Custody Disputes Involving Allegations of Domestic Violence: The Need for Differentiated Approaches to Parenting Plans

Jaffe, Peter
Johnston, Janet
Crooks, Claire
Bala, Nicholas

2008 Journal article
CYDL Data Byte 10: Maltreatment-related Interventions Received by Albertan Youth

Child and Youth Data Laboratory

2013 Report
CYDL Data Byte 11: Emergency Room Visits by Albertan Youth

Child and Youth Data Laboratory

2013 Report
CYDL Data Byte 7: Hospitalizations of Albertan Youth

Child and Youth Data Laboratory

2013 Report
Dating violence among child welfare involved youth: Results from the Maltreatment and Adolescent Pathway (MAP) longitudinal study

Tanaka, Masako
Wekerle, Christine

2014 Journal article
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
Detecting psychological maltreatment: Blows to the head and the heart...

Malo, Claire
Gagné, Marie-Hélène
Labrecque, Stéphane

2005 Information sheet