Social determinants of health and child maltreatment: a systematic review

Amy A. Hunter, Glenn Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Child maltreatment causes substantial numbers of injuries and deaths, but not enough is known about social determinants of health (SDH) as risk factors. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the association of SDH with child maltreatment. Methods: Five data sources (PubMed, Web of Science Core Collection, SCOPUS, JSTORE, and the Social Intervention Research and Evaluation Network Evidence Library) were searched for studies examining the following SDH: poverty, parental educational attainment, housing instability, food insecurity, uninsurance, access to healthcare, and transportation. Studies were selected and coded using the PICOS statement. Results: The search identified 3441 studies; 33 were included in the final database. All SDH categories were significantly associated with child maltreatment, except that there were no studies on transportation or healthcare. The greatest number of studies were found for poverty (n = 29), followed by housing instability (13), parental educational attainment (8), food insecurity (1), and uninsurance (1). Conclusions: SDH, including poverty, parental educational attainment, housing instability, food insecurity, and uninsurance, are associated with child maltreatment. These findings suggest an urgent priority should be routinely screening families for SDH, with referrals to appropriate services, a process that could have the potential to prevent both child maltreatment and subsequent recidivism. Impact: SDH, including poverty, parental educational attainment, housing instability, food insecurity, and uninsurance, are associated with child maltreatment.No prior published systematic review, to our knowledge, has examined the spectrum of SDH with respect to their associations with child maltreatment.These findings suggest an urgent priority should be routinely screening families for SDH, with referrals to appropriate services, a process that could have the potential to prevent both child maltreatment and subsequent recidivism

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Volume89
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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