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
Quebec Incidence Study 2014 (ÉIQ-2014): Final Report

Hélie, Sonia
Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Turcotte, Daniel
Trocmé, Nico
Girouard, Nadine

2017 Report
18-YEAR-OLD PETER: An Investigative Review

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta

2017 Report
Sexual abuse and preschoolers: Forensic details in regard of question types
Gagnon, Karine
Cyr, Mireille
2017 Journal article
Gender as a predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms and externalizing behavior problems in sexually abused children
Gauthier-Duchesne, Amélie
Hébert, Martine
Daspe, Marie-Ève
2017 Journal article
A longitudinal study of emotion regulation among sexually abused preschoolers
Sèguin-Lemire, Ariane
Hèbert, Martine
Cossette, Louise
Langevin, Rachel
2017 Journal article
Childhood sexual abuse and substance abuse: A gender paradox?
Tonmyr, Lil
Shields, Margot
2017 Journal article
Childhood sexual abuse, sexual motives, and adolescent sexual risk-taking among males and females receiving child welfare services
Wekerle, Christine
Goldstein, Abby L.
Tanaka, Masako
Tonmyr, Lil
2017 Journal article
Child welfare responses linked to subtypes of exposure to intimate partner violence: Evidence from the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect
Gonzalez, Andrea
MacMillan, Harriet
Tanaka, Masako
Jack, Susan M. 
Tonmyr, Lil
2017 Journal article
The journey of obtaining services: The realities of male survivors of childhood sexual abuse
Gagnier, Charlotte
Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Sablonnière-Griffin, Mireille De La
2017 Journal article
Correlates of admitted sexual interest in children among individuals convicted of child pornography offenses
Seto, Michael C.
Eke, Angela W.
2017 Journal article