Lifetime Prevalence of Investigating Child Maltreatment Among US Children.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To estimate the lifetime prevalence of official investigations for child maltreatment among children in the United States.


We used the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System Child Files (2003-2014) and Census data to develop synthetic cohort life tables to estimate the cumulative prevalence of reported childhood maltreatment. We extend previous work, which explored only confirmed rates of maltreatment, and we add new estimations of maltreatment by subtype, age, and ethnicity.


We estimate that 37.4% of all children experience a child protective services investigation by age 18 years. Consistent with previous literature, we found a higher rate for African American children (53.0%) and the lowest rate for Asians/Pacific Islanders (10.2%).


Child maltreatment investigations are more common than is generally recognized when viewed across the lifespan. Building on other recent work, our data suggest a critical need for increased preventative and treatment resources in the area of child maltreatment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kim, H; Wildeman, C; Jonson-Reid, M; Drake, B

Published Date

  • February 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 107 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 274 - 280

PubMed ID

  • 27997240

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5227926

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1541-0048

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-0036

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2105/ajph.2016.303545


  • eng