Abuse and neglect in children with disabilities: risk varies by type of disability

Miriam Maclean, Scott Sims, Helen Leonard, Jenny Bourke, Carol Bower, Melissa O'Donnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT Objectives To examine the risk of abuse and neglect for children with different types of disabilities taking into account other existing adversities, including socioeconomic disadvantage, parental mental health issues, etc. Approach Population based record linkage study of all children born between 1990-2010 utilising the Western Australian Register of Developmental Anomalies, the Intellectual Disabilities Exploring Answers database, Health data and Child Protection data. Results After taking into account existing adversities intellectual disability was associated with the highest risk of a child maltreatment allegation and entering out-of-home care. Further results include risk by level of intellectual disability and causes of disability. Conclusion Different disabilities are associated with differing risk of child maltreatment and child protection involvement. Groups that are considered at higher risk require services to identify and address the support needs of this group and determine how prevention and early intervention can lower the risk for child abuse and neglect in this vulnerable group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177
JournalInternational Journal of Population Data Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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