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
The Association Between Childhood Maltreatment and Gambling Problems in a Community Sample of Adult Men and Women

Hodgins, David C.
Schopflocher, Don P.
el-Guebaly, Nady
Casey, David M.
Smith, Garry J.
Williams, Robert J.
Wood, Robert T.

2010 Journal article
Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect-2008 (OIS‑2008)

Fallon, Barbara
Trocmé, Nico
MacLaurin, Bruce
Sinha, Vandna
Black, Tara
Felstiner, Caroline
Schumaker, Kate
Van Wert, Melissa
Herbert, Adina
Petrowski, Nicole
Daciuk, Joanne
Lee, Barbara
DuRoss, Christine
Johnston, Amy

2010 Report
Effects of a Psychoeducational Group Intervention for Children Victims of Sexual Abuse

Hébert, Martine
Tourigny, Marc

2010 Journal article
Is child abuse declining in Canada? An analysis of child welfare data

Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Hélie, Sonia
Trocmé, Nico

2010 Journal article
Externalizing Problems and Problematic Sexual Behaviors: Same Etiology?

Lévesque, Mireille
Bigras, Marc
Pauzé, Robert


Physical punishment of children: Assessing the validity of the legal definition of “reasonable force”

Durrant, Joan
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
Milne, Cheryl
Black, Tara
Petrowski, Nicole

2009 Information sheet
Early childhood home visiting programs

Knoke, Della

2009 Information sheet
Geographic location and short-term service dispositions in Canadian child maltreatment investigations: CIS-2003

Budau, Krista
Barniuk, Jim
Fallon, Barbara
Black, Tara

2009 Information sheet
Child Maltreatment, Bullying, Gender-Based Harassment, and Adolescent Dating Violence: Making the Connections

Wolfe, David
Crooks, Claire C.
Chiodo, Debbie
Jaffe, Peter

2009 Journal article
Cortisol response to stress in female youths exposed to childhood maltreatment: Results of the youth mood project

MacMillan, Harriet
Georgiades, Katholiki
Duku, Eric K.
Shea, Alison
Steiner, Meir
Niec, Anne
Tanaka, Masako
Gensey, Susan
Spree, Sandra
Vella, Emily
Walsh, Christine A.
De Bellis, Michael D.
Van der Meulen, John
Boyle, Michael H.
Schmidt, Louis A.

2009 Journal article