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Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Dec;97(52):e13728. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000013728.

Risk factors for child maltreatment by the utilization of medical service and socioeconomic environment in Taiwan.

Author information

Division of Pediatric General Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linko, Kweishan.
College of Medicine, Chang Gung University.
Division of Pediatric Allery, Asthma, and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics.
Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
Division of Pediatric Neurology.
Department of Medical Imaging and Intervention, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linko, Kweishan, Taoyuan.
Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.
Department of Medical Research, Children's Hospital.
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung.


Child maltreatment is complicated by cultural, welfare, and socioeconomic factors. However, the relationship between child maltreatment and socioeconomic factors has not been completely understood. We investigated risk factors for child abuse and neglect in Taiwan.The data in our study was obtained from Taiwan National Statistics at county level from 2004 to 2015. We included 4 areas (eastern, western, southern, northern) involving 20 cities and counties. The trends of child maltreatment rate based on different years and different areas were surveyed. In addition, panel data analysis was used to analyze the links between child maltreatment rate and socioeconomic factors.An increasing trend of child maltreatment rate in Taiwan was observed. During the past decade, child maltreatment rate increased from 14.5 in 2004 to 23.4 cases per 10000 children in 2014. The peak, which was 43 cases per 10000 children, occurred in 2012. Significant geographical differences were observed, and the highest child maltreatment rate was seen in eastern Taiwan. Panel data analysis revealed a lag effect of the unemployment rate on child maltreatment rate at the county level: the child maltreatment rate increased by 7 percent, while the prior unemployment rate increased by one percent. In addition, the medical personnel density was related to the child maltreatment rate within the county.Previous unemployment rate had a lag impact on child maltreatment occurrence. Unemployment rate has not only a direct impact on the economy but also sequential effects on child maltreatment.

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