Risk Factors and Preventive Services: Associations with Repeat Child Maltreatment in the State of Connecticut

Stephanie A Bosco-Ruggiero, Fordham University


Repeat child maltreatment is a problem in the state of Connecticut as well as other states such as New York, California, and Ohio. Although most children will not be victims of repeat maltreatment in Connecticut, a substantial percentage will be. Several family and child variables have been found to be associated with child maltreatment recidivism in previous studies. It was expected similar factors would predict higher risk in Connecticut as well. This study used National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) data for Connecticut for the years 2016 to 2018 to examine whether any child or family variables and risk factors, case characteristics, or services were associated with repeat reports, substantiation, or recidivism. There was a difference in repeat reports, substantiation, and recidivism by most of the hypothesized children and caregiver risk factors (e.g., mental health, disability). Family and child variables, family risk factors, and case characteristics associated with repeat reports, substantiation, and recidivism included child is multiracial, financial problem, housing problem, domestic violence, and unmarried parent household. Case characteristics associated with recidivism included having a report of neglect, a substantiated report the previous year, a shorter length of time between reports, and multiple investigation response counties over 36 months. Those who received more services had more reports and substantiations, most likely reflecting that the agency generally provides more services in families with substantiated cases; however, certain services are provided to most families with unsubstantiated cases as well. Education and training appeared to be particularly effective in lowering risk for families with financial problems. The Connecticut Department of Children and Families can use results from this study to cross validate and/or improve their risk assessments for recidivism.

Subject Area

Social work

Recommended Citation

Bosco-Ruggiero, Stephanie A, "Risk Factors and Preventive Services: Associations with Repeat Child Maltreatment in the State of Connecticut" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28491521.