This study examined the trajectories of maltreatment severity and substantiation over a 24-month period among children (N = 82,396) with repeated maltreatment reports. Findings revealed 2 different longitudinal patterns. The first pattern, Elevated Severity, showed a higher level of maltreatment during the initial incident and increased maltreatment severity during subsequent incidents, but the substantiation rates for this class decreased over time. The second pattern, Lowered Severity, showed a much lower level of severity, but the likelihood of substantiation increased over time. The Elevated Severity class was composed of children with an elevated risk profile because of both individual and contextual risk factors including older age, female gender, caregivers' substance use problems, and a higher number of previous maltreatment reports. Implications of the findings are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Health(social science)