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
Evolution over a year of individual protective factors in preschool victims of sexual abuse
Langevin, Rachel
Hébert, Martine
2016 Journal article
Emotion regulation in sexually abused preschoolers: The contribution of parental factors
Langevin, Rachel
Hébert, Martine
Allard-Dansereau, Claire
Bernard-Bonnin, Anne-Claude
2016 Journal article
From maltreatment to delinquency: Service trajectories after a first intervention of child protection services
Laurier, Catherine
Hélie, Sonia
Pineau-Villeneuve, Catherine
Royer, Marie-Noële
2016 Journal article
Alberta Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2008 (AIS-2008): Major Findings
MacLaurin, Bruce
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
Sinha, Vandna
Feehan, Richard
Enns, Rick
Gail, Jordan
Kitt, Olivia
Thomas‑Prokop, Shelley
Zelt, Carolyn
Daoust, Gabrielle
Hutcheon, Emily
Budgell, Danielle
2013 Report
Child physical and sexual abuse in a community sample of young adults: Results from the Ontario Child Health Study
MacMillan, Harriet L. 
Tanaka, Masako 
Duku, Eric 
Vaillancourt, Tracy 
Boyle, Michael H. 
 
2013 Journal article
An Epidemiological Study of Children Exposure to Violence in the Fragile Families Study
McLanahan, Sarah
Bryant-Davis, Thema 
Holcombe, Caroline 
James, Sarah 
Adams, Tyonna 
Gray, Anthea 
2014 Report
Supervisory neglect and risk of harm. Evidence from the Canadian child welfare system.
Ruiz-Casares, Mónica
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
2012 Journal article
A longitudinal study of emotion regulation among sexually abused preschoolers
Sèguin-Lemire, Ariane
Hèbert, Martine
Cossette, Louise
Langevin, Rachel
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
Childhood maltreatment as a risk factor for COPD: Findings from a population-based survey of Canadian adults
Shields, Margot E
Hovdestad, Wendy E
Gilbert, Charles P
Tonmyr, Lil E
2016 Journal article