The impact of child, family and child protective services factors on reports of child sexual abuse recurrence

Allison Nadia Sinanan, Fordham University


Child maltreatment is a phenomenon that has a long history in the United States (Pogge, 1992). Patterns of child sexual abuse are a common subject of research, although little has been documented regarding the incidence and risk factors for recurrence in large populations. Gaining knowledge of the risk factors correlated with child sexual abuse recurrence can affect and improve the assessment of a child's risk for re-abuse. Using secondary data analysis, this hypothesis-driven dissertation study sought to identify if certain child factors (e.g., age, gender, race/ethnicity, disabilities, prior victim of abuse, and relationship to perpetrator of abuse), family risk factors (e.g., substance abuse, domestic violence, inadequate housing and financial problems) and services provided by child protective services (e.g., family supportive services and family preservation services) increased the likelihood of reports of child sexual abuse recurrence, by type of reporter. The data used for this dissertation study was derived from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) data set of 2002-2004. This dissertation study employed the ecological perspective by assuming the interrelatedness of the various components and levels of the ecological systems within which child sexual abuse reoccurs. In addition, general systems theory served as a framework for the investigation of the behaviors of reporting of sexual abuse by type of reporter. Results indicated that child disability, being a prior victim, having a perpetrator as a caregiver, family financial problems, and receiving family supportive services, increased the likelihood for reports of child sexual abuse by mandated reporters. Results from the Cox proportional hazards regression analysis signifies the likelihood of reports of child sexual abuse recurrence by mandated reporters is greatly influenced by services provided by child protective services and a child's race. This dissertation study makes a contribution to child maltreatment by recognizing sexual abuse cases present with unique indicators and risk factors that differ from other types of child maltreatment recurrence. The study of risk factors specifically related to child sexual abuse recurrence may improve the ability to assess the risk of future sexual abuse among those children already identified to child protective services. Based on these research findings, implications for social work practice, education, and research are also discussed.

Subject Area

Social work|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Sinanan, Allison Nadia, "The impact of child, family and child protective services factors on reports of child sexual abuse recurrence" (2008). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3309586.