Regional comparisons of child abuse and related variables in the United States

M. M. Coleman, M. E. Alder, T. J. Prihoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The objective of this article is to familiarize the health care professional with 1990 national data on child abuse and to review some of the trends reported in the literature. The United States was divided into Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Data were collected, analyzed, and transformed to calculate the incidence and types of abuse reported by region. Variables of interest were income, marital status, perpetrator, age of victim, and drug use by region. To determine significant differences among regions for each type of abuse and related variable, frequency distributions were calculated and chi-squared tests were used. State data summaries were measured for correlation analysis. The West was highest in reported incidence of child abuse (5.9%) and, specifically, physical abuse (36.7%). California reported 55% of the physical abuse in the West. In all regions, neglect and physical maltreatment were reported more than sexual and emotional abuse. The incidence of neglect in the south (52.8%) was greater than in any other region and did not correlate to income in this region. Early detection of child abuse can aid in preventing fatalities. This information should increase awareness of child abuse and result in an increase in reporting if abuse is suspected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-319
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995


  • Child abuse
  • Neglect
  • United States region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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