Author(s): Damashek A, Nelson MM, Bonner BL
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Abstract This study examined victim, family, and alleged perpetrator characteristics associated with fatal child maltreatment (FCM) in 685 cases identified by child welfare services in the state of Oklahoma over a 21-year period. Analyses also examined differences in child, family, and alleged perpetrator characteristics of deaths from abuse versus neglect. Case information was drawn from child welfare investigation records for all FCM cases identified by the state Department of Human Services. Fatal neglect accounted for the majority (51\%) of deaths. Children were primarily younger than age 5, and parents were most frequently the alleged perpetrators. Moreover, most victims had not been the subject of a child welfare report prior to their death. A greater number of children in the home and previous family involvement with child welfare increased children's likelihood of dying from neglect, rather than physical abuse. In addition, alleged perpetrators of neglect were more likely to be female and biologically related to the victim. These results indicate that there are unique family risk factors for death from neglect (versus physical abuse) that may be important to consider when selecting or developing prevention efforts. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Child Abuse Negl
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health