Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seasonality of child abuse a myth, study finds

Date:
June 22, 2010
Source:
Indiana University School of Medicine
Summary:
A new study of homicides of 797 children younger than age five has found that these deaths occur uniformly throughout the year, dispelling the widely held anecdotal notion that the winter months, and especially winter holidays, are a time of increased child abuse.

A new study of homicides of 797 children younger than age five has found that these deaths occur uniformly throughout the year, dispelling the widely held anecdotal notion that the winter months, and especially winter holidays, are a time of increased child abuse.

"The seasonality of child abuse is clearly a myth," said Antoinette Laskey, M.D., M.P.H, associate professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, who led the study.

"We looked at the statistics of fatalities related to child abuse in geographically disparate states to see whether or not there were any patterns and there were none. As we noted in our study, it is possible that the reason child abuse is believed to increase during the holidays is because an abused child seen on a memorable day like Christmas may be easier for a healthcare provider to recall because of the association with the holiday," said Dr. Laskey, who is a Riley Hospital for Children physician.

The study is the first of its size to use death certificate data to explore the question of seasonality of child homicide. It appears in the July 2010 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics and is now available online.

Data from Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma and Washington were analyzed for seasonal effect in the years 1999-2006. Children were found to be equally at risk of homicide death during any month of the year. Two-thirds of the deaths were in children younger than two years old.

"Since there is no reason to believe that child abuse deaths occur at differing rates throughout the year, it is important to keep in mind that prevention should be a year round effort. The fact is common stressors on caregivers, like crying, toileting accidents and normal childhood behavioral issues such as temper tantrums happen all year long. We need to teach caregivers how to respond better to these issues," said Dr. Laskey.

In addition to Dr. Laskey, who is a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist, co-authors of the study are Jonathan D. Thackeray, M.D., The Ohio State University College of Medicine; Sophia R. Grant, M.D., University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and Patricia G. Schnitzer, Ph.D., Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri.

The IU School of Medicine, Riley Hospital and the Regenstrief Institute are located on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University School of Medicine. "Seasonality of child abuse a myth, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621121402.htm>.
Indiana University School of Medicine. (2010, June 22). Seasonality of child abuse a myth, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621121402.htm
Indiana University School of Medicine. "Seasonality of child abuse a myth, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621121402.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins