areas of child abuse and neglect. By the first decade of the 21st century, that number had risen to nearly 25,000.

However, the approximate parity between the increases in medical and psychological articles obscures an important trend. In the areas of physical and sexual abuse, publications from medicine and from psychology are increasing at about the same rate. In the area of neglect, however, medical publications are increasing at a significantly faster rate than psychological publications. “I would suggest that we have neglect of neglect by psychologists,” said Widom.


More data are available today on the incidence and prevalence of child maltreatment than were available in 1993. (Chapter 4 of this summary addresses major data sources and trends over time.) However, fundamental questions remain, Widom noted. According to data from the National Incidence Studies (NISs), the incidence of child maltreatment declined 19 percent in the 12 years between NIS-3 and NIS-4. Most of the decline appears to be related to significant decreases in physical and


FIGURE 1 Published articles on child abuse and neglect: 1950-2009.

SOURCE: Widom, (2012).

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement