Child Maltreatment and Risk Patterns Among Participants in a Child Abuse Prevention Program




Jennifer Y. Duffy, Marcia Hughes, Andrea G. Asnes, and John M. Leventhal

Brief Type

Journal Publication


  • Parents as Teachers (PAT)


The relationship between risk factors and Child Protective Services (CPS) outcomes in families who participate in home visiting programs to prevent abuse and neglect and who are reported to CPS is largely unknown. We examined the relationship between parental risk factors and the substantiation status and number of CPS reports in families in a statewide prevention program. We reviewed CPS reports from 2006 to 2008 for families in Connecticut's child abuse prevention program. Six risk factors (histories of CPS, domestic violence [DV], mental health, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and criminal involvement) and the number of caregivers were abstracted to create risk scores for each family member. Maltreatment type, substantiation, and number of reports were recorded. Odds ratios were calculated. Of 1,125 families, 171 (15.6%) had at least one CPS report, and reports of 131 families were available for review. Families with a substantiated (25.2%) versus unsubstantiated (74.8%) first report had a high number of paternal risk factors (OR = 6.13, 95% CI [1.89, 20.00]) and were more likely to have a history of maternal DV (OR = 8.47, 95% CI [2.96, 24.39]), paternal DV (OR = 11.23, 95% CI [3.33, 38.46]), and maternal criminal history (OR = 4.55; 95% CI [1.32, 15.60]). Families with >1 report (34.4%) versus 1 report (65.6%) were more likely to have >3 caregivers, but this was not statistically significant (OR = 2.53, 95% CI [0.98, 6.54]). In a prevention program for first-time families, DV, paternal risk, maternal criminal history, and an increased number of caregivers were associated with maltreatment outcomes. Targeting parental violence may impact child abuse prevention. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods

  • Program administrative record reviews



For More Information

Duffy, J. Y., Hughes, M., Asnes, A. G., & Leventhal, J. M. (2015). Child maltreatment and risk patterns among participants in a child abuse prevention program. Child Abuse & Neglect, 44, 184-193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.11.005
Author Contact Information:
John M. Leventhal


  • Participant Characteristics
  • Participant, Family, and Program Outcomes