Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Child Abuse Negl. 2003 Aug;27(8):899-917.

Cross-type recidivism among child maltreatment victims and perpetrators.

Author information

  • 1George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St Louis, MO 63130, USA.



This study investigated the extent to which child maltreatment victims and perpetrators were reported for different types of maltreatment over time (cross-type recidivism). Second, this study examined whether certain individual, community or child welfare service variables were associated with a tendency for the first recidivism event to be the same as the initial report among cases involving sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect.


Statewide administrative data on child abuse reporting at the child and perpetrator levels were linked to data on child welfare services and census information to examine cross-type recidivism prospectively for 4.5 years. Analyses include descriptive and logistic regression techniques.


There was substantial cross-type recidivism at both the child and perpetrator levels, with neglect being the most common recidivism type. Among neglect cases, "lack of supervision" was the most frequent subtype at time of re-report regardless of the initial subtype of neglect reported. Predictors of remaining within-type varied by the type of maltreatment initially reported and by perpetrator compared to child-level analyses. For example, among physical abuse cases, older child victims were more likely to remain within-type, while the opposite was true for neglect.


Cross-type recidivism is common among re-reported cases of maltreatment. Non-neglect cases that re-reported to child welfare agencies are likely to return for neglect. Child welfare risk assessment, service provision, and research on children and families with a recidivism event should be focused neglect and on broad areas of need and risk rather than rely on typologies based on the index event. Researchers attempting to model recurrent maltreatment should consider recurrence at the child and perpetrator levels separately.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk