Using a large national sample of child maltreatment reports, this brief compares the outcomes of child maltreatment cases in rural versus urban places and identifies the characteristics associated with substantiation. Child abuse cases substantiated in rural and urban areas share many caregiver risk factors, such as drug and alcohol abuse, and many family stressors. Substantiation is equally likely across income levels; approximately one-fourth of cases in each income level are substantiated. However, when place is taken into account, a greater share (36 percent) of higher-income families (that is, families with incomes greater than 200 percent of the federal poverty level) in rural areas have substantiated maltreatment reports than in urban areas.

Publication Date



National Issue Brief No. 50


Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2012. The Carsey Institute. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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