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Child Maltreat. 2007 Feb;12(1):96-105.

Measuring the risk of physical neglect in a population-based sample.

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University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Erratum in

  • Child Maltreat. 2007 May;12(2):198.


Child neglect accounts for the majority of officially substantiated cases of child maltreatment in this country, although population-based data are lacking. This study estimates the number of children at risk for specific subtypes of physical neglect, using results of an anonymous telephone survey administered to 1,435 mothers of children ages 0 to 17 years in North and South Carolina. Children were considered "at risk for neglect" from lack of enough food, lack of access to medical care when needed, and inadequate supervision. Demographic factors were significantly related to the outcomes of interest, including lower family income with lack of enough food and access to medical care. There was little overlap in children at risk for the different subtypes of neglect. Maternal self-report data can be used to improve researchers' understanding of children at risk for neglect and to explore gaps in knowledge that might be amenable to intervention and prevention efforts.

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