Department of Economics and Business Economics

Cumulative prevalence of maltreatment among New Zealand children, 1998–2015

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  • Bénédicte Rouland, Centre for Social Data Analytics, Auckland University of Technology
  • ,
  • Rhema Vaithianathan, Singapore Management University

Objectives. To document, via linked administrative data, the cumulative prevalence among New Zealand children of notifications to child protective services (CPS), substantiated maltreatment cases, and out-of-home placements. Methods. We followed all children born in New Zealand in 1998 until the end of 2015 (an overall sample of 55 443 children). We determined the cumulative frequencies of notifications, substantiated maltreatment cases (by subtype), and first entries into foster care from birth through the age of 17 years. We also decomposed CPS involvement by gender. Results. We found that almost 1 in 4 children had been subject to at least 1 report to CPS at age 17 years (23.5%), and 9.7% had been a victim of substantiated abuse or neglect. We also found that 3.1% had experienced out-of-home placements by age 17 years, with boys being more affected. Conclusions. Both notifications and substantiated child maltreatment are more common in New Zealand than is generally recognized, with the incidence of notifications higher than the incidence of medicated asthma among children and the prevalence of substantiations similar to the prevalence of obesity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Pages (from-to)511-513
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018

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