Child maltreatment includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, as well as neglect (including medical neglect). Maltreatment in general is associated with a number of negative outcomes for children, including lower school achievement, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and mental health problems.29 Certain types of maltreatment can result in long-term physical, social, and emotional problems, and even death. For example, "shaken baby syndrome" can result in mental retardation, cerebral palsy, or paralysis. Child maltreatment includes both fatal and nonfatal maltreatment.
NOTE: The count of child victims is based on the number of investigations by Child Protective Services that found the child to be a victim of one or more types of maltreatment. The count of victims is, therefore, a report-based count and a "duplicated count," since an individual child may have been maltreated more than once. The number of states reporting varies from year to year. States vary in their definition of abuse and neglect. Data since 2007 are not directly comparable with prior years as differences may be partially attributed to changes in one state's procedures for determination of maltreatment.
SOURCE: Administration for Children and Families, National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.
29 Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Department of Health and Human Services. (2003). A coordinated response to child abuse and neglect: The foundation for practice. Retrieved August 28, 2006, from the Child Welfare Information Gateway, http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/foundation/foundationf.cfm.
30 Data since 2007 are not directly comparable with prior years as differences may be partially attributed to changes in one state's procedures for determination of maltreatment. Other reasons include the increase in children who received an "other" disposition, the decrease in the percentage of children who received a substantiated or indicated disposition, and the decrease in the number of children who received an investigation or assessment.