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29-09-2021 | Article

Child Maltreatment and Long-Term Physical and Mental Health Outcomes: An Exploration of Biopsychosocial Determinants and Implications for Prevention

Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Divya Mehta, Adrian B. Kelly, Kristin R. Laurens, Divna Haslam, Kate E. Williams, Kerryann Walsh, Philip R. A. Baker, Hannah E. Carter, Nigar G. Khawaja, Oksana Zelenko, Ben Mathews
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Divya Mehta, Adrian B. Kelly, Kristin R. Laurens, Divna Haslam, Kate E. Williams, Kerryann Walsh, Philip Baker, Hannah E. Carter, Nigar Khawaja and Ben Mathews have contributed equally to this work.
Divya Mehta and Adrian B. Kelly are joint first authors.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Child maltreatment rates remain unacceptably high and rates are likely to escalate as COVID-related economic problems continue. A comprehensive and evidence-building approach is needed to prevent, detect and intervene where child maltreatment occurs. This review identifies key challenges in definitions, overviews the latest data on prevalence rates, reviews risk and protective factors, and examines common long-term mental health outcomes for children who experience maltreatment. The review takes a systems approach to child maltreatment outcomes through its focus on the overall burden of disease, gene-environment interactions, neurobiological mechanisms and social ecologies linking maltreatment to mental ill-health. Five recommendations relating to the accurate measurement of trends, research on brain structures and processes, improving the reach and impact of teleservices for detecting, preventing and treating child maladjustment, community-based approaches, and building population-focused multidisciplinary alliances and think tanks are presented.

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