New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research


Report at a Glance

  • Infographic: Understanding Child Abuse & Neglect (JPG, HTML)
  • Interventions for Child Abuse and Neglect (PDF)
  • New Directions for Research (PDF)
  • Presentation Slides (PDF)
  • Report Brief (PDF, HTML)

See the dissemination toolkit for this report.

Each year, child protective services receive reports of child abuse and neglect involving six million children, with many more unreported cases. The long-term consequences of child abuse and neglect are not relegated to only the victim – they also impact their families, future relationships, and society. It is a complex societal problem that requires a comprehensive response.

In 1993, the National Research Council (NRC) issued the report, Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect, which provided an overview of the research on child abuse and neglect. Twenty years later, the Children's Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families asked the IOM and the NRC to update the 1993 report and provide new recommendations to this public health challenge.

This new report concludes that while there has been great progress in child abuse and neglect research, a coordinated, national research infrastructure with high-level federal support needs to be established and implemented immediately. The report identifies four areas to look to in developing this coordinated research enterprise: a national strategic plan, a national surveillance system, a new generation of researchers, and changes in federal and state programmatic and policy response.