Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Genetic Relatedness and Child Abuse

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3690-1



Physical or emotional abuse or neglect to an individual 18 years of age or younger by a parent or parent substitute.


Child abuse can be represented in a number of ways: physical abuse, physical neglect, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, or threats of maltreatment. According to the National Incidence Study (1996) by Sedlak and Broadhurst, physical abuse is anyone 18 years and younger who experienced injury or is/was at the risk of injury by a parent or parent substitute. This involves being hit with a hand or object or being kicked, shaken, thrown, burned, stabbed, or choked. Physical neglect is the harm or endangerment as an effect of inadequate nutrition, clothing, hygiene, and/or supervision. In addition, child abuse can also be emotional abuse, the use of nonphysical punishment or threats of maltreatment or emotional neglect, absence of affection and/or emotional support, or the exposure to...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South Carolina – BeaufortBlufftonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin M. Kniffin
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA