Child abuse occurs across all social and economic levels and ethnic groups. Factors that may increase a person's risk of becoming abusive include:

  • A history of being abused or neglected as a child
  • Physical or mental illness, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Family crisis or stress, including domestic violence and other marital conflicts, single parenting, or young children in the family, especially several children under age 5
  • A child in the family who is developmentally or physically disabled
  • Financial stress or unemployment
  • Social or extended family isolation
  • Poor understanding of child development and parenting skills
  • Alcoholism or other forms of substance abuse
Oct. 23, 2012