36th Edition (August 2013)

Date Published

MacMillan, H. L., Tanaka, M., Duku, E., Vaillancourt, T., & Boyle, M. H. (2013). Child physical and sexual abuse in a community sample of young adults: Results from the Ontario Child Health Study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37(1), 14-21.

Child maltreatment is increasingly recognized as a major public health problem; however, despite the identification there is little community-based information about the determinants of child maltreatment in Canada. This study utilized secondary data analysis to identify prevalence and risk factors for physical and sexual abuse of children living in Ontario. The Ontario Child Health Study (OCHS) is a province wide longitudinal study that included participants between the ages of four to 35 years. The study consisted of three waves of data collection; childhood maltreatment was measured during the final wave. Measures included sociodemographic status, family, and child characteristics. A two-level logistic regression model was utilized to analyze the data, where children (n=1893) were nested within families (n=1253). Results suggest that within multiple-child households, there was increased risk of another child being exposed to physical abuse, severe physical abuse, and sexual abuse, if one child reported such experiences. Further, experiences of physical and severe physical abuse were associated with living in poverty, urban residence, parental adversity, child psychiatric disorder, and young maternal age at the time of the child’s first birth. Child sexual abuse was associated with living in poverty, living in an urban residence, being female, age (older childhood), and young maternal age at the time of the child’s first birth. 

Ruiz-Casares, M., Trocmé, N., & Fallon, B. (2012). Supervisory neglect and risk of harm. Evidence from the Canadian child welfare system. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36, 471-480.

Although it constitutes a large portion of investigations little is known about how child welfare workers assess harm and risk of harm in making investigation and intervention decisions in cases of supervisory neglect. Using secondary analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 2008 (CIS-2008) (n=4159), this study describes the nature and severity of injuries caused by supervisory neglect in the context of physical harm. In 2008, neglect was the largest primary category of substantiated maltreatment and supervisory neglect occurred more frequently than other types of neglect. Of the estimated cases of substantiated neglect, 44% involved failure to supervise: physical harm. Supervisory neglect cases represented 15% of all maltreatment cases, which had the highest rate of substantiation (48%) as compared to all other types of maltreatment. Within the neglect category, failure to supervise cases generally included fewer household and caregiver risk factors than did other neglect cases. Cases of supervisory neglect involved younger children and child functioning issues were less likely to be noted as a concern compared to other cases involving other forms of maltreatment. Injuries were very rare (2%) in cases of substantiated supervisory neglect, resulting in the authors’ conclusion that more information is needed about how these concerns are substantiated.