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Yale Study on Child Maltreatment Finds Racial Disparities

Tina Robinson2 years ago

A new study on child abuse and neglect released by Yale University suggests that child maltreatment is more common than current estimates suggest, according to a Business Week report.

About the Yale Child Maltreatment Study

Researchers at Yale University have published a new report in JAMA Pediatrics that analyzed child abuse data. Using information from the National Child Abuse and Neglect  Data System Child File, researchers concluded that 1 in 8 U.S. children will experience some form of maltreatment by the age of 18. Maltreatment can be neglect or physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

Researchers used confirmed cases of abuse from the 5.6 million reports of child abuse reported between 2004 and 2011.

The study also concluded:

  • Child maltreatment was more common in black, Native American, and Hispanic children when compared to white or Asian/Pacific Islander children.
    • Black children had a 21 percent likelihood of being abused by age 18; 15 percent for Native American children; 13 percent for Hispanic children; 11 percent for white children; and 3.8 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander children.
  • Girls were at a higher risk of abuse than boys.
  • The majority of confirmed maltreatment is neglect, including inadequate supervision.

Child Abuse Costs

Child abuse not only causes immediate physical damage, but long-term problems as well as a significant financial cost. Children who are mistreated exhibit higher rates of obesity, mental health issues, criminal behavior, and death. It is estimated that child abuse costs the U.S. $124 billion annually. 


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