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Mil Med. 2004 Jun;169(6):461-4.

Classification of the severity of U.S. Army and civilian reports of child maltreatment.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


This study compares reports of the severity of child maltreatment for the U.S. Army and a civilian jurisdiction, Washington State (WS). Such comparisons can provide important information on risk and protective factors in designing prevention programs. An understanding of the differences facilitates the tailoring of interventions to better fit the characteristics of each community. The ages of the children in the WS cases were significantly older than the cases of the Army children. In both populations, neglect was the most prevalent form of maltreatment, followed in order by physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. The percentages of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect were not statistically different, but the Army classified three times the number of emotional abuse cases as WS. The Army also classified more cases of physical abuse as severe (11%) compared with WS (5%). However, 16% of WS neglect cases were classified severe compared with 3% of Army cases.

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