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 Authors Year Type of Publication
Differentiating between substantiated, suspected, and unsubstantiated maltreatment in Canada

Trocmé, Nico
Knoke, Della
Fallon, Barbara
MacLaurin, Bruce

2009 Journal article
Exploring taboos: Comparing male- and female-perpetrated child sexual abuse

Peter, Tracey

2009 Journal article
Examining How the Mental Health Needs of Children Who Have Experienced Maltreatment are Addressed within Ontario Children’s Aid Societies

Czincz, Jennifer
Romano, Elisa

2009 Journal article
Prince Edward Island Department of Social Services and Seniors Child and Family Services Division: Residential Services Review

Haire, Basil

2009 Report
Who are these parents involved in child neglect? A differential analysis by parent gender and family structure

Dufour, Sarah
Lavergne, Chantal
Larrivée, Marie-Claude
Trocmé, Nico

2008 Journal article
Continuity and Pathways from Aggression in Childhood to Family Violence in Adulthood: A 30-year Longitudinal Study

Temcheff, Caroline E.
Serbin, Lisa A.
Martin-Storey, Alexa
Stack, Dale M.
Hodgins, Sheilagh
Ledingham, Jane
Schwartzman, Alex E.

2008 Journal article
The link between maltreatment and juvenile firesetting: Correlates and underlying mechanisms

Root, Carol
MacKay, Sherri
Henderson, Joanna
Del Bove, Giannetta
Warling, Diane

2008 Journal article
From Evolving Discourses to New Practice Approaches in Domestic Violence and Child Protective Services

Friend, Colleen
Shlonsky, Aron
Lambert, Liz

2008 Journal article
Comparative study of the cognitive sequelae of school-aged victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome

Stipanicic, Annie
Nolin, Pierre
Fortin, Gilles
Gobeil, Marie-France

2008 Journal article
What Predicts Injury from Physical Punishment? A Test of the Typologies of Violence Hypothesis

Gonzalez, Miriam
Durrant, Joan E.
Chabot, Martin
Trocme, Nico
Brown, Jason

2008 Journal article