Public perceptions of child maltreatment: A national convenience sample

Craig Winston LeCroy, Skyler Milligan-LeCroy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    Background: The public view of the social problem of child abuse and neglect plays a key role in determining individuals’ willingness to report cases of child maltreatment. The present study focuses on examining current public knowledge and opinions on child maltreatment reporting. Our research also explores the factors that the public find most important in affecting and preventing child maltreatment. Objective: A public opinion survey of a diverse population of Americans regarding their knowledge, understanding, and perspectives about child maltreatment and the best methods to address this social problem. Participants and methods: The study included a convenience sample of 1080 respondents from across the United States. Surveys were administered using an online crowdsourcing platform. Results: The public demonstrated they were generally well-informed about many aspects of child maltreatment, yet they have many concerns about reporting child maltreatment. Conclusions: It was evident that society believes social programs can impact child maltreatment; a majority of the sample indicated that child maltreatment can be prevented and would be in favor of making a tax donation toward child abuse prevention. The results showpublic support for more services as an opportunity to take preventative action against child abuse.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number105677
    JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
    StatePublished - Dec 2020


    • Child abuse and neglect
    • Child maltreatment
    • Child protective service reporting
    • Public opinion
    • Public support for child maltreatment

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Developmental and Educational Psychology
    • Sociology and Political Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'Public perceptions of child maltreatment: A national convenience sample'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this