Introduction: Child Abuse and Neglect

  • Angelo P. GiardinoEmail author
  • Michelle A. Lyn
  • Eileen R. Giardino


Child abuse and neglect, child maltreatment, and child victimization are interchangeable terms that refer to a major public health problem confronting children and families. Abuse manifests when the child’s or adolescent’s caregiver fails to provide for the youth’s health and well-being either by causing an injury or, as in neglect, by not meeting a basic need. Because of the multifaceted nature of abuse, a comprehensive definition of child abuse and neglect draws upon information from a number of disciplines and a variety of professionals. The phenomenon of child maltreatment has diverse medical, developmental, psychosocial, and legal consequences. Child abuse and neglect, along with its synonyms, describes a wide range of situations. It involves caregiver acts of commission or omission that had or are likely to have injurious effects on the child’s physical, developmental, and psychosocial well-being. Child maltreatment is broadly categorized into (a) physical abuse, (b) sexual abuse, (c) emotional/psychological abuse, and (d) neglect. Neglect is further subcategorized into specific areas, such as physical, supervisional, educational, and emotional/psychological.


Abuse Neglect Epidemiology Fatalities Costs Etiology ACEs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelo P. Giardino
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michelle A. Lyn
    • 2
  • Eileen R. Giardino
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Utah and Intermountain Primary Children’s HospitalSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Baylor College of MedicineTexas Children’s HospitalHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family HealthCizik School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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