Design Options for Understanding Maltreatment Incidence

​Although research on child maltreatment incidence has advanced substantially over the past 20 years, new data and innovative research tools make it possible to better understand the incidence of child abuse and to neglect to inform practices and policies. To explore how these new and innovative research efforts may inform future study designs, Mathematica Policy Research, in collaboration with Brett Drake and Melissa Johnson-Reid from the Washington University in St. Louis School of Social Work, is conducting the Design Options for Understanding Child Maltreatment and Related Risk and Protective Factors project (hereafter referred to as the Design Options project).

The major purpose of the project is to develop design options for a study or set of studies to improve the accurate and ongoing surveillance of (1) the incidence of child abuse and neglect and (2) related risk and protective factors. The project aims to identify and prioritize key research questions; explore design options, including innovative methodological approaches; review existing administrative data sets and ongoing surveys; examine potential measurement issues; and consider the feasibility of and resources needed for various design options.


F. Brett Drake, PhD
Melissa Jonson-Reid, PhD

Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE)
Children’s Bureau (CB) of the
Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services