Research has uncovered a number of risk factors or attributes commonly associated with maltreatment. Children in families and environments where these factors exist have a higher probability of experiencing maltreatment.
A greater understanding of risk factors can help professionals working with children and families identify maltreatment and high-risk situations so they can intervene appropriately. It must be emphasized, however, that while certain factors often are present among families where maltreatment occurs, this does not mean that the presence of these factors necessarily lead to child abuse and neglect.
Common factors associated with increased risk of child maltreatment are often categorized as follows:
- Parent or caregiver factors
- Child factors
- Family factors
- Community and environmental factors
- Risk factors for recurrence of child abuse and neglect
- Co-occurring risk factors
Child Maltreatment 2014
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau (2016)
Presents national data about child abuse and neglect known to child protective services agencies in the United States during Federal fiscal year 2013.
Risk Factors for Child Maltreatment
McCoy & Keen (2009)
In Child Abuse and Neglect
Reviews factors related to child, parent, family, extrafamilial, and cultural factors that place a child at risk for child maltreatment.
Violence, Abuse, and Neglect in Families and Intimate Relationships
In Families and Change: Coping With Stressful Events and Transitions (4th ed.)
Discusses types of violence within families and relationships, and explores factors including gender, race, socioeconomic status, stress, social isolation, age, type of relationships, and intergenerational patterns.