Trends, diagnoses, and hospitalization costs of child abuse and neglect in the united states of america

Armeda Stevenson Wojciak, Brandon Butcher, Aislinn Conrad, Carol Coohey, Resmiye Oral, Corinne Peek-Asa

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5 Scopus citations


We conducted a secondary analysis of the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) to examine child abuse and neglect hospitalization from 1998–2016. The NIS is the largest all-payer, inpatient care database in the United States and is maintained by the Health Care Utilization Project. Participants were youth 18 years and younger with discharged diagnoses of child abuse and neglect from hospitals. The rate of child abuse or neglect hospitalizations did not vary significantly over the study period (1998–2016), which on average was 6.9 per 100,000 children annually. Males (53.0%), infants (age < 1; 47.3%), and young children (age 1–3; 24.2%) comprised most of the child maltreatment cases. Physical abuse was the most frequent type of maltreatment leading to hospitalization. Government insurance was the most common payer source, accounting for 77.3% of all child maltreatment hospitalizations and costing 1.4 billion dollars from 2001–2016. Hospitalizations due to child abuse and neglect remain steady and are costly, averaging over $116 million per year. The burden on government sources suggests a high potential for return on investment in effective child abuse prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7585
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Child maltreatment
  • Hospitalization costs
  • Hospitalization rates
  • National inpatient sample


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