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Journal Article


Lagerberg D. Acta Paediatr. 2004; 93(5): 692-701.


Department of Women's and Children's Health, Section for Paediatrics, University Children's Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


(Copyright © 2004, John Wiley and Sons)






AIM: To determine whether children considered by child health nurses to be at risk of abuse or neglect differed from the general population in gender, age and health status, and whether such child characteristics were related to nurses' perceptions of case seriousness, or to reporting to the child protection services (CPS). METHODS: Questionnaires were sent to nurses in the preventive Child Health Services, 951 of whom identified a total of 6044 children aged 0 to 6 y as suspected of risk of maltreatment. RESULTS: Boys and older children were over-represented among the identified children, possibly because the attention of the nurses was attracted by salient symptoms in older boys. Children with health problems and boys exposed to disturbed parenting/neglect were perceived as more serious cases than other children. Children aged 4-6 y were more likely to be reported to the CPS than children under 3 y of age. CONCLUSION: The findings raise the question whether possibly maltreated children who are very young, female or in good health run a particularly high risk of non-detection, of being considered non-serious cases and of not being reported to the CPS. The risk of going unnoticed may be higher for some children at risk of maltreatment than for others.

Language: en


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