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Type: Journal article
Title: Trends in reports of child malreatment in the Northern Territory, 1999-2010
Author: Guthridge, S.
Ryan, P.
Condon, J.
Bromfield, L.
Moss, J.
Lynch, J.
Citation: Medical Journal of Australia, 2012; 197(11/12):637-641
Publisher: Australasian Med Publ Co Ltd
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0025-729X
Statement of
Steven L. Guthridge, Philip Ryan, John R. Condon, Leah M. Bromfield, John R. Moss and John W. Lynch
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To examine trends in reports of child maltreatment to the Northern Territory Department of Children and Families among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children. DESIGN, SETTING AND SUBJECTS: A historical cohort study using administrative data collections of notifications and substantiated cases of maltreatment among children aged from 0 to 17 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUReS: Annual rates of notification and substantiation of different types of child maltreatment. RESULTS: From 1999 to 2010, the overall annual rates of notification for maltreatment of Aboriginal children showed an average increase of 21% (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 1.21; 95% CI, 1.19–1.24). The greatest increases were in notifications for neglect and emotional abuse. There were parallel increases in rates of substantiated cases of maltreatment. Among non-Aboriginal children, the overall annual rates of notification also increased (IRR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.07–1.14); however, changes in annual rates of substantiated cases for all types of maltreatment were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: There have been considerable increases in both notifications and substantiated cases of child maltreatment, most prominently among Aboriginal children. It is possible that the observed increases reflect increasing incidence of maltreatment; however, they are also consistent with a mix of increased surveillance, improved service access, changes in policy and a shift in public attitudes.
Keywords: Humans
Cohort Studies
Child Abuse
Child, Preschool
Research Report
Rights: Copyright status unknown
DOI: 10.5694/mja12.10133
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Public Health publications

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