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
Child sexual abuse as a risk factor for teen dating violence: Findings from a representative sample of Quebec youth
Hébert, Martine
Moreau, Catherine
Blais, Martin
Lavoie, Francine
Guerrier, Mireille
2016 Journal article
The relation of childhood maltreatment to psychotic symptoms in adolescents and young adults with depression
Holshausen, Katherine
Bowie, Christopher R.
Harkness, Kate L. 
2016 Journal article
Gender differences in emotion-mediated pathways from childhood sexual abuse to problem drinking in adolescents in the child welfare system
Hudson, Amanda
Wekerle, Christine
Goldstein, Abby L. 
Ellenbogen, Stephen
Waechter, Randall
Thompson, Kara
Stewart, Sherry H. 
2016 Journal article
Stress generation in adolescence: Contributions from Five-Factor Model (FFM) personality traits and childhood maltreatment
Kushner, Shauna C
Bagby, R. Michael
Harkness, Kate L.
2016 Journal article
The relation between interviewers’ personal characteristics and investigative interview performance in a child sexual abuse context
Lafontaine, Jonathan
Cyr, Mireille
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
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
Reporting suspected child maltreatment: Managing the emotional and relational aftermath

Tufford, Lea

2016 Journal article
Examining the impact of policy and legislation on the identification of neglect in Ontario: Trends over time
Fallon, Barbara
Trocmé, Nico
Sanders, Jane Elizabeth
Houston, Emmaline A.L.
2016 Journal article