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Child Maltreat. 2012 Aug;17(3):207-17. doi: 10.1177/1077559512448472. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Trajectories of maltreatment re-reports from ages 4 to 12:: evidence for persistent risk after early exposure.

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Judge Baker Children's Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02120, USA.


This study identified trajectories of maltreatment re-reports between ages 4 and 12 for children first referred to Child Protective Services (CPS) for maltreatment prior to age 4 and either removed from the home or assessed by a CPS intake worker as moderately or highly likely to be abused/neglected in the future, absent intervention. Participants (n = 501) were children from the Southwest and Northwest sites of the Consortium for Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). During the 8-year follow-up period, 67% of children were re-reported. Growth mixture modeling identified four trajectory classes: No re-report (33%), Continuous re-reports (10%), Intermittent re-reports (37%), and Early re-reports (20%). Membership in classes with relatively more re-reports was predicted by several factors assessed at age 4, including physical abuse; living with a biological/stepparent; caregiver alcohol abuse, depression, and lack of social support; receipt of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC); and number of children in the home. For a subpopulation of high-risk children first reported in early childhood, risk for maltreatment re-reporting may persist longer than previously documented, continuing 8 to 12 years after the first report.

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