Confirmed child abuse and neglect cases: number
and rate per 10,000 children under age 18
Physical health status
Rationale for use of indicator
abuse and neglect is both a health problem and an indicator of underlying social
Substance abuse, poverty, and
economic stress have been shown to contribute to child abuse and neglect. The
growing numbers of young persons with disabilities and pathological family relationships
also contribute to child abuse.
Children are a vulnerable
population and their abuse and neglect requires immediate attention in the form
of a community response. The first level of intervention is through having adequately
staffed Child Protective Services to specifically intervene in cases of physical
abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. The second level of intervention should aim
at correcting the underlying social problems, e.g. substance abuse. Child abuse
and neglect has also been shown to be underreported; it is a bigger problem than
the numbers might show it to be.
Data from Texas Department
of Protective and Regulatory Services: 1997 Legislative Data Book [Online: http://www.tdprs.state.tx.us/]
Children at Risk. [Online: http://www.childrenatrisk.org/the_indicators.html
] July 1999.
Institute of Medicine. 1997. Improving health in the community:
A role for performance monitoring. Washington, D.C.:
National Academy Press.
National Center for Health Statistics. Health status indicators: Definitions and
national data. Healthy People 2000 Statistical Notes 1992;1(3):1-8.