Overall abuse is down, however children under the age of one at risk
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/03/2012 -- New research has found that downward trends in serious injuries in children as the result of child abuse may be incorrect. According to a national study, the reports show a moderate increase in serious child abuse statistics over the last 12 years.
According to Dr. Leventhal and Julie Gaither of Yale University, hospitalization for child abuse-related injuries increased 4.9% among children under the age of 18 from 1997 to 2009. Children suffering these serious injuries were more likely to die before being released from hospital care, the authors wrote in the November issue of Pediatrics.
The report also noted that, "these results are in sharp contrast to data from child protective services.” Protective agency statistics showed a 55% decrease in ‘substantiated’ child abuse cases from 1992 through 2009. A more exhaustive report in National Incidence Studies showed a 23% decline in similar physical abuse.
A possible reason for the contradictory findings of the two studies may be due to subtle difference in what was being studied, Leventhal and Gaither suggest. Child protective service data shows physical abuse statistics without regard to age or severity, while their data showed that abuse children under the age of one, were the majority, 54%, of children hospitalized.
The Yale researchers suggest that, "perhaps all physical abuse is decreasing in the United States, but injuries in very young children have not followed this overall trend.”
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