Perpetrators of Child Abuse & Neglect
A perpetrator is a person who has been determined to have caused or knowingly allowed the maltreatment of a child. Most States define perpetrators of child abuse and neglect as parents and other caregivers (such as relatives, babysitters, and foster parents) who have harmed a child in their care. It is important to note that States define the term "caregiver" differently. Harm caused to a child by others (such as acquaintances or strangers) may not be considered child abuse but rather may be considered a criminal matter.
Find research on characteristics of perpetrators, including those who commit certain types of abuse or neglect.
- Perpetrators of neglect
- Perpetrators of physical abuse
- Perpetrators of sexual abuse
- Perpetrators of Munchausen syndrome by proxy
Perpetrators (PDF - 4,372 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau (2013)
In Child Maltreatment 2012
Presents data on the characteristics of perpetrators, their relationship to their child victims, and the types of maltreatment they commit.
Comparing Different Types of Child Abuse and Spouse Abuse Offenders
Pittman & Lee
Violence and Victims, 19(2), 2004
Examines differences in background characteristics, personal and interpersonal problems, and family climate among three types of child abuse offenders to determine the necessity of distinguishing types. Results supported the concept that perpetrators of different types of abuse have different backgrounds.
|Male Perpetrators of Child Maltreatment: Findings from NCANDS|
|Author(s):||United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation., Walter R. McDonald and Associates.
Shusterman, Fluke, Yuan
Download (PDF - 368KB)
|Year Published:||2005 - 39 pages|
|Using case-level data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect System (NCANDS) for 2002, analyses of the characteristics of male perpetrators of maltreatment were conducted. The study utilized an 18-State data set of 192,392 perpetrators identified by the child protective services system during 2002. The relationship of the perpetrators to the child victims, as well as whether the perpetrator acted alone or with another person, was considered along with demographic characteristics of both perpetrators and victims, and circumstances of the maltreatment. Research questions were: 1) What are the characteristics of male perpetrators of child maltreatment? 2) What specific patterns of ...|
Profiles of Child Maltreatment Perpetrators and Risk for Fatal Assault: A Latent Class Analysis
Yampolskaya, Greenbaum, & Berson
Journal of Family Violence, 24(5), 2009
Examines 4 years of perpetrator profiles in Florida. The results found three categories of perpetrators and the likelihood of each to commit a fatal assault.
Sexual Abuse History Among Adult Sex Offenders and Non-Sex Offenders: A Meta-Analysis
Jespersen, Lalumière, & Seto
Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal, 33(3), 2009
Studies the proportion of adult sex offenders who were sexually abused as children and discusses the sexually abused-sexual abuser hypothesis.