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
Supervisory neglect and risk of harm. Evidence from the Canadian child welfare system.
Ruiz-Casares, Mónica
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
2012 Journal article
Failures in Children’s Protection in Newfoundland and Labrador: From the Hughes (1991) to Markesteyn and Day (2006) Inquiries and Beyond

Devine, Mike
Kimberley, Dennis 

2012 Journal article
Is the cluster risk model of parental adversities better than the cumulative risk model as an indicator of childhood physical abuse?: Findings from two representative community surveys

Fuller-Thomson, Esme
Sawyer, J.-L.

2012 Journal article
Distinguishing between poor/dysfunctional parenting and child emotional maltreatment

Wolfe, David A.
McIssac, Caroline


2012 Report
Responding to child maltreatment in Canada: Context for international comparisons

Fallon, Barbara
Trocmé, Nico
Fluke, John
Van Wert, Melissa
MacLaurin, Bruce
Sinha, Vandna
Helie, Sonia
Turcotte, Daniel

2012 Journal article
A comparison of First Nations and non-Aboriginal children investigated for maltreatment in Canada in 2003

MacLaurin, Bruce
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
Blackstock, Cindy
Pitman, Lisa
McCormack, Megan

2011 Information sheet
Cortisol reactivity to social stress in adolescents: Role of depression severity and child maltreatment

Harkness, Kate
Stewart, Jeremy
Wynne-Edwards, Katherine

2011 Journal article
Child Maltreatment in Québec: Findings from the Incidence Study of 1998

Tourigny,Marc, Mayer, Micheline, Lavergne, Chantal, Trocmé, Nico, Wright, John & Daigneault, Isabelle

2011 Report
Trauma-Related Symptoms in Neglected Preschoolers and Affective Quality of Mother-Child Communication

Milot, Tristan
St-Laurent, Diane
Ethier, Louise S.
Provost, Marc A.

2011 Journal article
Child physical abuse and suicide-related behavior: A systematic review

Mironova, Polina
Rhodes, Anne E.
Bethell, Jennifer M.
Tonmyr, Lil
Boyle, Michael H.
Wekerle, Christine
Goodman, Deborah
Leslie, Bruce

2011 Journal article