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
Restoring Family Support, Self-Esteem, and Reducing Distress Among Sexually Abused Young Runaways

Edinburgh, Laurel
Homma, Yuko
Saewyc, Elizabeth
Wirkkala, Sara
Mickschl, Leah

2009 Journal article
News Reporting on Aboriginal Child Welfare: Discourses of White Guilt, Reverse Racism, and Failed Policy

Harding, Robert

2009 Journal article
What Canadian Youth Tell Us About Disclosing Abuse

Ungar, Michael
Tutty, Leslie M.
McConnell, Sheri
Barter, Ken
Fairholm, Judi

2009 Journal article
Understanding the Association Between Maltreatment History and Adolescent Risk Behavior by Examining Popularity Motivations and Peer Group Control

Ellis, Wendy E.
Wolfe, David

2009 Journal article
Personality, child maltreatment, and substance use: Examining correlates of deliberate self-harm among university students

Goldstein, Abby L.
Flett, Gordon L.
Wekerle, Christine
Wall, Anne-Marie

2009 Journal article
The role of parental stress, mother’s childhood abuse and perceived consequences of violence in predicting attitudes and attribution in favor of corporal punishment

Clément, Marie-Ève
Chamberland, Claire

2009 Journal article
Sexual abuse history among adult sex offenders and non-sex offenders: A meta-analysis

Jespersen, Ashley
Lalumière, Martin
Seto, Michael

2009 Journal article
Childhood trauma and injection drug use among high-risk youth

Kerr, Thomas
Stoltz, Jo-Anne
Marshall, Brandon
Lai, Calvin
Strathdee, Steffanie A.
Wood, Evan

2009 Journal article
Men's and women's childhood sexual abuse and victimization in adult partner relationships: A study of risk factors

Daigneault, Isabelle
Hébert, Martine
McDuff, Pierre

2009 Journal article
Protection of Children from Physical Maltreatment in Canada: Evaluation of the Supreme Court’s Definition of Reasonable Force

Durrant, Joan E.
Trocmé, Nico
Fallon, Barbara
Milne, Cheryl
Black, Tara

2009 Journal article