Parental risk factors for childhood maltreatment typologies: A data linkage study

Siobhan Murphy, Eoin McElroy, Ask Elklit, Mark Shevlin, Philip Hyland, Mogens Nygaard Christoffersen

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Child maltreatment (CM) encompasses a range of abusive acts which rarely occur in isolation. Therefore, rather than focusing on specific forms of abuse, a more methodologically sound approach may be to concentrate research on subgroups of CM. Knowledge of the context in which different types of abuse occur is limited, and specific types of maltreatment may occur in the presence of certain parental and familial risk factors.

This study aimed to examine the common and specific effects of well documented parental risk factors on CM subgroups.

Participants were randomly selected from the total birth cohort of all children born in Denmark in 1984. Data were then linked to information drawn from the Danish health and social registries.

Four distinct subgroups were used; no-abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and co-occurring abuse. All risk factors had significant bivariate associations with the CM subgroups relative to the no-abuse category. Multivariate analysis demonstrated both shared and unique effects, with family dissolution as a strong predictor of all three CM subgroups.

Findings indicated certain parental risk factors increase a child's risk of experiencing all forms of maltreatment, whilst others constitute unique risk for specific CM subgroups.
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Trauma & Dissociation
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)189-195
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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