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
Which maltreated children are at greatest risk of aggressive and criminal behavior? An examination of maltreatment dimensions and cumulative risk
Van Wert, Melissa
Mishna, Faye
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
2017 Journal article
Testing the limits: Extending attachment-based intervention effects to infant cognitive outcome and parental stress
Dubois-Comtois, Karine
Cyr, Chantal
Tarabulsy, George M. 
St-Laurent, Diane
Bernier, Annie
Moss, Ellen
2017 Journal article
Pathways linking childhood maltreatment and adolescent sexual risk behaviors: The role of attachment security
Thibodeau, Marie-Eve
Lavoie, Francine
Hébert, Martine
Blais, Martin
2017 Journal article
Trauma-symptom profiles of adolescents in child welfare
Gallitto, Elena
Lyons, Jennifer
Weegar, Kelly
Romano, Elisa
2017 Journal article
A Profile of Investigation Type by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Moody, Brenda
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
A Profile of Intimate Partner Violence Investigations by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Kartusch, Mark
Black, Tara
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
A Profile of Risk Investigations Transferred to Ongoing Services by Child Age in Ontario in 2013

Filippelli, Joanne
Stoddart, Jill
Fallon, Barbara

2016 Information sheet
A prospective study of the impact of child maltreatment and friend support on psychological distress trajectory: From adolescence to emerging adulthood

Dion, Jacinthe
Matte-Gagné, Célia
Daigneault, Isabelle
Blackburn, Marie-Eve
Hébert, Martine
McDuff, Pierre
Auclair, Julie
Veillette, Suzanne
Perron, Michel

2016 Journal article
Expression of re-experiencing symptoms in the therapeutic context: a mixed-method analysis of young children exposed to intimate partner violence

Miller-Graff, Laura E.
Galano, Maria
Graham-Bermann, Sandra A.

2016 Journal article
Language problems among abused and neglected children: A meta-analytic review

Sylvestre, Audette
Bussières, Ève-Line
Bouchard, Caroline

2016 Journal article