Advertisement

Risk Factors for Fatal Maltreatment Victimization and Perpetration

  • Emily M. Douglas
Chapter
  • 174 Downloads

Abstract

This chapter discusses a variety of risk factors for fatal child maltreatment: child characteristics, parent characteristics, the parent-child relationship, and household characteristics. Some of these include a child’s age and gender, parent/perpetrator age, parent mental health concerns, and social/environmental conditions in the home. The second portion of the chapter will focus on the areas of controversy concerning risk factors for child maltreatment fatalities, including parent/perpetrator gender, race of victim/parent/perpetrator, child behavioral health, and the parent-child relationship. These controversies are fueled by a variety of sources, including the media and historically uninformed assumptions about the “goodness” and limits of parents’ actions toward their children. The chapter will end by covering some risk factors that have been inadequately explored and what how this limits the field’s ability to better identify children who are at risk for a maltreatment fatality.

Keywords

Fatal child maltreatment Child risk factors for child death Parent risk factors for child death Household risk factors for child death 

References

  1. Anderson, R., Ambrosino, R., Valentine, D., & Lauderdale, M. (1983). Child deaths attributed to abuse and neglect: An empirical study. Children and Youth Services Review, 5(1), 75–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anyon, Y. (2011). Reducing racial disparities and disproportionalities in the child welfare system: Policy perspectives about how to serve the best interests of African American youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(2), 242–253. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2010.09.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berlin, L. J., Appleyard, K., & Dodge, K. A. (2011). Intergenerational continuity in child maltreatment: Mediating mechanisms and implications for prevention. Child Development, 82(1), 162–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beveridge, J. (1994). Analysis of Colorado child maltreatment fatalities. Colorado’s Children, 13(2), 3–6.Google Scholar
  5. Blackson, T. C., Tarter, R. E., & Maezzich, A. C. (1996). Interaction between childhood temperament and parental discipline practices on behavioral adjustment in preadolescent sons of substance abuse and normal fathers. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 22(3), 335–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brewster, A. L., Nelson, J. P., Hymel, K. P., Colby, D. R., Lucas, D. R., McCanne, T. R., & Milner, J. S. (1998). Victim, perpetrator, family, and incident characteristics of 32 infant maltreatment deaths in the United States Air Force. Child Abuse & Neglect, 22(2), 91–101. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0145-2134(97)00132-4.
  7. Carrier, P. (2002, June 27). Lawmakers vow vigilance on DHS; In the wake of the Schofield trial, they want to make sure child-welfare reforms are fully implemented. Portland Press Herald, p. 1A.Google Scholar
  8. Casady, M. (2013, October 13). A “suspicious” death probed. San Antonio Express News. Retrieved from http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/A-suspicious-death-probed-4891499.php
  9. Cavanagh, K., Dobash, R. E., & Dobash, R. P. (2007). The murder of children by fathers in the context of child abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31(7), 731–746. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2006.12.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chance, T. C., & Scannapieco, M. (2002). Ecological correlates of child maltreatment: Similarities and differences between child fatality and nonfatality cases. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 19(2), 139–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Child Maltreatment Research Listserv. (2009, August 25). [New bulletin: Updated Trends in Child Maltreatment, 2008].Google Scholar
  12. Clark, P., Buchanan, J., & Legters, L. (2008). Taking action on racial disproportionality in the child welfare system. Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program, 87(2), 319–334.Google Scholar
  13. Crofoot, T. L., & Harris, M. S. (2012). An Indian Child Welfare perspective on disproportionality in child welfare. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(9), 1667–1674. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.04.028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cross, T. L. (2008). Disproportionality in child welfare. Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program, 87(2), 11–20.Google Scholar
  15. Damashek, A., Nelson, M. M., & Bonner, B. L. (2013). Fatal child maltreatment: Characteristics of deaths from physical abuse versus neglect. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37(10), 735–744. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.04.014.
  16. Davis, D. (Writer). (1987). The unquiet death of Eli Creekmore. In K. T. Seattle (Producer). USA.Google Scholar
  17. Delsordo, J. D., & Leavitt, J. (1974). Protective casework for abused children. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Corporation.Google Scholar
  18. Dettlaff, A. J., & Rycraft, J. R. (2008). Deconstructing disproportionality: Views from multiple community stakeholders. Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program, 87(2), 37–58.Google Scholar
  19. Douglas, E. M. (2012). Child welfare workers’ training, knowledge, and practice concerns regarding child maltreatment fatalities: An exploratory, multi-state analysis. Journal of Public Child Welfare, 6(5), 659–677. doi: 10.1080/15548732.2012.723975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Douglas, E. M. (2013). Case, service and family characteristics of households that experience a child maltreatment fatality in the United States. Child Abuse Review, 22(5), 311–326. doi: 10.1002/car.2236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Douglas, E. M. (2016). Testing if social services prevent fatal child maltreatment among a sample of children previously known to child protective services. Child Maltreatment. doi: 10.1177/1077559516657890.
  22. Douglas, E. M., & Mohn, B. L. (2014). Fatal and non-fatal child maltreatment in the US: An analysis of child, caregiver, and service utilization with the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Set. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(1), 42–51. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.10.022.
  23. Drake, B., Jolley, J. M., Lanier, P., Fluke, J., Barth, R. P., & Jonson-Reid, M. (2011). Racial bias in child protection? A comparison of competing explanations using national data. Pediatrics, 127(3), 471–478. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-1710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dretzin, R., Goodman, B., & Soenens, M. (Writers). (2003). Part I, The Taking of Logan Marr. In Frontline (Producer), Failure to protect: Public Broadcasting System.Google Scholar
  25. Engfer, A., & Schneewind, K. (1982). Causes and consequences of harsh parental punishment: An empirical investigation in a representative sample of 570 German families. Child Abuse and Neglect, 6(2), 129–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fein, L. G. (1979). Can child fatalities, end product child abuse, be prevented? Children and Youth Services Review, 1, 31–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Foster, C. H. (2012). Race and child welfare policy: State-level variations in disproportionality. Race and Social Problems, 4(2), 93–101. doi: 10.1007/s12552-012-9071-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gelles, R. J. (1973). Child abuse as psychopathology – A sociological critique and reformulation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 43(4), 611–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gelles, R. J. (1978). Profile of violence towards children in the United States. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 48(4), 580–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gelles, R. J. (1996). The book of David: How preserving families can cost children’s lives. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  31. Gelles, R. J., & Harrop, J. W. (1991). The risk of abusive violence among children with nongenetic caretakers. Family Relations, 40(1), 78–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. George, C., & Main, M. (1979). Social interactions of young abused children: Approach, avoidance, and aggression. Child Development, 50(2), 306–318. doi: 10.2307/1129405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Graham, J. C., Stepura, K., Baumann, D. J., & Kern, H. (2010). Predicting child fatalities among less-severe CPS investigations. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(2), 274–280. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2009.09.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hamilton, L. R. (1989). Variables associated with child maltreatment and implications for prevention and treatment. Early Child Development and Care, 42, 31–56. doi: 10.1080/0300443890420103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Herman-Giddens, M. E., Smith, J. B., Mittal, M., Carlson, M., & Butts, J. D. (2003). Newborns killed or left to die by a parent: A population-based study. JAMA, 289(11), 1425–1429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jason, J., & Andereck, N. D. (1983). Fatal child abuse in Georgia: The epidemiology of severe physical child abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 7(1), 1–9. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(83)90023-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jonson-Reid, M., Chance, T., & Drake, B. (2007). Risk of death among children reported for nonfatal maltreatment. Child Maltreatment, 12(1), 86–95. doi: 10.1177/1077559506296722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kajese, T. M., Nguyen, L. T., Pham, G. Q., Pham, V. K., Melhorn, K., & Kallail, K. J. (2011). Characteristics of child abuse homicides in the state of Kansas from 1994 to 2007. Child Abuse & Neglect, 35(2), 147–154. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2010.11.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Klevens, J., & Leeb, R. T. (2010). Child maltreatment fatalities in children under 5: Findings from the National Violence Death Reporting System. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34(4), 262–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Knott, T., & Donovan, K. (2010). Disproportionate representation of African-American children in foster care: Secondary analysis of the national child abuse and neglect data system, 2005. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(5), 679–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Knott, T., & Giwa, S. (2012). African American disproportionality within CPS and disparate access to support services: Review and critical analysis of the literature. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 29(3), 219–230. doi: 10.1080/0886571x.2012.697434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Korbin, J. E. (1987). Incarcerated mothers’ perceptions and interpretations of their fatally maltreated children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 11, 397–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Korbin, J. E. (1989). Fatal maltreatment by mothers: A proposed framework. Child Abuse & Neglect, 13(4), 481–489. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0145-2134(89)90052-5.
  44. Korbin, J. E. (1998). “Good mothers,” “Babykillers” and fatal child maltreatment. In N. Scheper-Hughes & C. Sargent (Eds.), Small wars: The cultural politics of childhood (pp. 253–276). Berkeley, CA/Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  45. Kunz, J., & Bahr, S. J. (1996). A profile of parental homicide against children. Journal of Family Violence, 11(4), 347–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Levine, M., Freeman, J., & Compaan, C. (1994). Maltreatment-related fatalities: Issues of policy and prevention. Law & Policy, 16(4), 449–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Levitzky, S., & Cooper, R. (2000). Infant colic syndrome – Maternal fantasies of aggression and infanticide. Clinical Pediatrics, 39(7), 395–400. doi: 10.1177/000992280003900703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lucas, D. R., Wezner, K. C., Milner, J. S., McCanne, T. H. R., Harris, I. N., Monroe-Posey, C., et al. (2002). Victim, perpetrator, family, and incident characteristics of infant and child homicide in the United States Air Force. Child Abuse & Neglect, 26, 167–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Manlove, E. E., & Vernon-Feagans, L. (2002). Caring for infant daughters and sons in dual-earner households: Maternal reports of father involvement in weekday time and tasks. Infant & Child Development, 11(4), 305–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mapp, S. C. (2006). The effects of sexual abuse as a child on the risk of mothers physically abusing their children: A path analysis using systems theory. Child Abuse & Neglect, 30(11), 1293–1310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Margolin, L. (1990). Fatal child neglect. Child Welfare, 69(4), 309–319.Google Scholar
  52. Martin, J. A., Hamilton, B. E., Ventura, S. J., Osterman, M. J. K., Wilson, E. C., & Matthews, T. J. (2012). Births: Final data for 2010 National Vital Statistical Reports (Vol. 61).Google Scholar
  53. McKee, G. R. (2006). Why mothers kill: A forensic psychologist’s casebook. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Meyer, C., Oberman, M., & Rone, M. (2001). Mothers who kill their children: Understanding the acts of moms from Susan Smith to the “prom mom”. New York, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Miller, C. M., & Burch, A. D. S. (2013a, August 18). Girl 2, pays with her life for DCF’s inaction. Miami Herald. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2397606/Florida-mother-Chelsea-Huggett-killed-disabled-daughter-Aliyah-Marie-Branum-2.html
  56. Miller, C. M., & Burch, A. D. S. (2013b, August 20). Names of dead children invoked at hearing to reform DCF. Miami Herald. Retrieved from http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/20/3575635/names-of-dead-children-invoked.html-storylink=cpy
  57. O’Malley, S. (2004). Are you there alone? The unspeakable crime of Andrea Yates. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  58. Oberman, M., & Meyer, C. L. (2008). When mothers kill: Interviews from prison. New York, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Palusci, V. J., & Covington, T. M. (2014). Child maltreatment deaths in the U.S. National Child Death Review Case Reporting System. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(1), 25–36. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.08.014.
  60. Paulozzi, L. (2002). Variation in homicide risk during infancy – United States, 1989–1998. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 51(9), 189–189.Google Scholar
  61. Sabotta, E. E., & Davis, R. L. (1992). Fatality after report to a child abuse registry in Washington state, 1973–1986. Child Abuse & Neglect, 16(5), 627–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schnitzer, P. G., & Ewigman, B. G. (2008). Household composition and fatal unintentional injuries related to child maltreatment. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 40(1), 91–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sherrod, K. B., Altemeier, W. A., O’Connor, S., & Vietze, P. M. (1984). Early prediction of child maltreatment. Early Child Development and Care, 13(3–4), 335–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sinal, S. H., Petree, A. R., Herman-Giddens, M., Rogers, M. K., Enand, C., & DuRant, R. H. (2000). Is race or ethnicity a predictive factor in shaken baby syndrome? Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(9), 1241–1246. doi: 10.1016/s0145-2134(00)00177-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sinha, V., Trocmé, N., Fallon, B., & MacLaurin, B. (2013). Understanding the investigation-stage overrepresentation of first nations children in the child welfare system: An analysis of the first nations component of the Canadian incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect 2008. Child Abuse & Neglect. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.11.010.Google Scholar
  66. Stiffman, M. N., Schnitzer, P. G., Adam, P., Kruse, R. L., & Ewigman, B. G. (2002). Household composition and risk of fatal child maltreatment. Pediatrics, 109(4), 615–621. doi: 10.1542/peds.109.4.615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Stith, S. M., Liu, T., Davies, L. C., Boykin, E. L., Alder, M. C., Harris, J. M., … Dees, J. E. M. E. G. (2009). Risk factors in child maltreatment: A meta-analytic review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(1), 13–29.Google Scholar
  68. Tourigny, J. A. (2006). High-risk environments and infant health: Predicting psychological and physical health outcomes with maternal, child, and parenting variables. Doctorate, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.Google Scholar
  69. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2011). Child maltreatment 2010: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems – National statistics on child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.Google Scholar
  70. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2012). Child maltreatment 2011: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems – National statistics on child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.Google Scholar
  71. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2013). Child maltreatment 2012: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems – National statistics on child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.Google Scholar
  72. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2014). Child maltreatment 2013: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems – National statistics on child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.Google Scholar
  73. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2015). Child maltreatment 2014: Reports from the States to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems – National statistics on child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: Administration for Children & Families, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.Google Scholar
  74. Welch, G. L., & Bonner, B. L. (2013). Fatal child neglect: Characteristics, causation, and strategies for prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37(10), 745–752. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2013.05.008.
  75. Whipple, E. E. (1999). Reaching families with preschoolers at risk of physical child abuse: What works? Families in Society, 80(2), 148–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wood, J. J., & Repetti, R. L. (2004). What gets dad involved? A longitudinal study of change in parental child caregiving involvement. Journal of Family Psychology, 18(1), 237–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. World Health Organization. (2001). Comparative risk assessment: Child sexual abuse. Sydney, Australia: WHO Collaborating Centre for Evidence and Health Policy in Mental Health.Google Scholar
  78. Yampolskaya, S., Greenbaum, P. E., & Berson, I. R. (2009). Profiles of child maltreatment perpetrators and risk for fatal assault: A latent class analysis. Journal of Family Violence, 24(5), 337–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily M. Douglas
    • 1
  1. 1.Bridgewater State UniversityBridgewaterUSA

Personalised recommendations