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 Publicationsort icon
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
Knowledge Transfer and Exchange: Disseminating Canadian Child Maltreatment Surveillance Findings to Decision Makers

Jack, Susan
Tonmyr, Lil

2008 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
False Allegations of Abuse and Neglect when Parents Separate

Trocmé, Nico
Bala, Nicholas

2005 Journal article
Alienated Children and Parental Separation: Legal Responses in Canada's Family Courts

Bala, Nicholas
Fidler, Barbara-Jo
Goldberg, Dan
Houston, Claire

2007 Journal article
An Historical Perspective on Family Violence & Child Abuse

Bala, Nicholas

2008 Journal article
Validation of the French Version of the CTQ and Prevalence of the History of Maltreatment

Paquette, Daniel
Laporte, Lise
Bigras, Marc
Zoccolillo, Mark

2004 Journal article
The feasibility of screening for intimate partner violence during postpartum home visits

Jack, Susan
Jamieson, Ellen
Wathen, Nadine C.
MacMillan, Harriet

2008 Journal article
La Transmission de la Violence Sexuelle: Description du Phénomène et Pistes de Compréhension

Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Cyr, Mireille

2003 Journal article
Comparing Dissociation and PTSD in Sexually Abused School-Aged Girls

Collin-Vézina, Delphine
Hébert, Martine

2005 Journal article