Abuse and Neglect: Summary and Resources

This information was taken directly from Child Welfare Information Gateway


There is a significant body of ongoing research on the consequences of child abuse and neglect. The effects vary depending on the circumstances of the abuse or neglect, personal characteristics of the child, and the child’s environment. Consequences may be mild or severe; disappear after a short period or last a lifetime; and affect the child physically, psychologically, behaviorally, or in some combination of all three ways. Ultimately, due to related costs to public entities such as the health-care, human services, and educational systems, abuse and neglect impact not just the child and family, but society as a whole. Therefore, it is imperative for communities to provide a framework of prevention strategies and services before abuse and neglect occur and to be prepared to offer remediation and treatment when necessary.

Resources on Child Welfare Information Gateway

Child Abuse and Neglect

Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect

Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect


Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. (2007). Special health care needs among children in child welfare (NSCAW Research Brief No. 7). Retrieved from

Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. (2011). NSCAW II baseline report: Child well-being. Retrieved from sites/default/files/opre/nscaw2_child.pdf

Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. (2012a). Instability and early life changes among children in the child welfare system (NSCAW Research Brief No. 18). Retrieved from national-survey-of-child-and-adolescent-well-being-no-18-instability-and

Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. (2012b). Adolescents with a history of maltreatment have unique service needs that may affect their transition to adulthood. Retrieved from youth_spotlight_v7.pdf

Anda, R., Fleisher, V., Felitti, V., Edwards, V., Whitfield, C., Dube, S., & Williamson, D. (2004). Childhood abuse, household dysfunction, and indicators of impaired adult worker performance. Permanente Journal, 8(1). Retrieved from permanentejournal/winter04/childhood.pdf

Courtney, M., Dworsky, A., Brown, A., Cary, C., Love, K., & Vorhies, V. (2011). Midwest evaluation of the adult functioning of former foster youth: Outcomes at age 26. Retrieved from pdf

Felitti, V. J., & Anda, R. (2009). The relationship of adverse childhood experiences to adult medical disease, psychiatric disorders, and sexual behavior: Implications for healthcare. In R. Lanius, E. Vermetten, & C. Pain (Eds.), The hidden epidemic: The impact of early life trauma on health and disease. Retrieved from docs/LaniusVermetten_FINAL_8-26-09.12892303.pdf

Gold, J., Wolan Sullivan, M., & Lewis, M. (2011). The relation between abuse and violent delinquency: The conversion of shame to blame in juvenile offenders. Child Abuse & Neglect, 35(7), 459–467.

Mercy, J., Saul, J., Turner, S., & McCarthy, P. (2011). Creating a healthier future through prevention of child maltreatment. Retrieved from archives/2011/June2011.htm

Messman-Morre, T., Walsh, K., & DiLillo, D. (2010). Emotion dysregulation and risky sexual behavior in revictimization. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34(12), 967–976.

Perry, B. (2012). Supporting maltreated children: Countering the effects of neglect and abuse. Adoption Advocate. Retrieved from documents/NCFA_ADOPTION_ADVOCATE_NO48.pdf

Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy. (2011). Home visiting saves money, prevents child abuse, helps children learn and strengthens families. Retrieved from documents/homevisiting_issuebrief_summer2011.pdf

Shaffer, A. (2012). Child maltreatment: Risk and resilience in ages birth to 5. CW360 ̊. Retrieved from CEED_Winter2012.pdf

Shin, S., & Miller, D. (2012). A longitudinal examination of childhood maltreatment and adolescent obesity: Results from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (AddHealth) study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36(2), 84–94.

Tarullo, A. (2012). Effects of child maltreatment on the developing brain. CW360 ̊. Retrieved from Winter2012.pdf

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.) Injury prevention & control: Traumatic brain injury. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Child maltreatment 2011. Retrieved from Widom, C., Czaja, S., Bentley, T., & Johnson, M. (2012). A prospective investigation of physical health outcomes in abused and neglected children: New findings from a 30 year follow-up. American Journal of Public Health, 102(6), 1,135–1,144.

Wilson, C. (2012). The emergence of trauma-informed child welfare systems. CW360 ̊. Retrieved from Ambit_Winter2013.pdf

ZERO TO THREE. (2011). A call to action on behalf of maltreated infants and toddlers. Retrieved from

Xiangming, F., & Corso, P. (2007). Child maltreatment, youth violence, and intimate partner violence: Developmental relationships. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 33(4). Retrieved from

Xiangming, F., Brown, D., Florence, C., & Mercy, J. (2012). The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States and implications for prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36(2), 156–165.

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Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2013). Long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau.