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
A Comparative Study of Parental Sensitivity Between Three Groups of Adolescent Mothers

Paquette, Daniel
Zoccolillo, Mark
Bigras, Marc
Labelle, Marie-Ève
Azar, Rima
Emery, Jacinthe

2004 Journal article
The Effects of Children's Exposure to Domestic Violence: A Meta-Analysis and Critique

Wolfe, David
Crooks, Claire
Lee, Vivien
McIntyre-Smith, Alexandra
Jaffe, Peter

2004 Journal article
Predicting Abuse in Adolescent Dating Relationships Over 1 Year: The Role of Child Maltreatment and Trauma

Wolfe, David
Wekerle, Christine
Scott, Katreena
Straatman, Anna-Lee
Grasley, Carolyn

2004 Journal article
Measuring Child Sexual Abuse in Children and Youth

Walsh, Christine A.
Jamieson, Ellen
MacMillan, Harriet
Trocmé, Nico

2004 Journal article
Domestic violence: Protecting children by involving fathers and helping mothers

Lavergne, Chantal
Chamberland, Claire
Laporte, Lise
Baraldi, Rosanna

2003 Information sheet
Psychological abuse: Children's invisible suffering

Chamberland, Claire
Laporte, Lise
Lavergne, Chantal
Baraldi, Rosanna

2003 Information sheet
Physical abuse WITH and WITHOUT other forms of child maltreatment: Dysfunctionality vs. Dysnormativity - Quebec Incidence Study

Larrivée, Marie-Claude
Tourigny, Marc
Bouchard, Camil

2003 Presentation
In the Best Interests of Children and Mothers: A Proposed Child Welfare Response to Violence Against Women

Morrow, Eileen

2003 Report
The Baby Andy Report: Examination of services provided to Baby Andy and his family

Montreal Lake Child & Family Agency inc.
Saskatchewan Community Resources and Employment

2003 Report
The Economic Costs and Consequences of Child Abuse in Canada

Bowlus, Audra
McKenna, Katherine
Day, Tanis
Wright, David

2003 Report