The lifetime economic and social costs of child maltreatment in Australia

McCarthy, Molly M., Taylor, Penny, Norman, Rosana E., Pezzullo, Lynne, Tucci, Joe and Goddard, Chris (2016) The lifetime economic and social costs of child maltreatment in Australia. Children and Youth Services Review, 71 217-226. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.11.014

Author McCarthy, Molly M.
Taylor, Penny
Norman, Rosana E.
Pezzullo, Lynne
Tucci, Joe
Goddard, Chris
Title The lifetime economic and social costs of child maltreatment in Australia
Journal name Children and Youth Services Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0190-7409
Publication date 2016-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.11.014
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 71
Start page 217
End page 226
Total pages 10
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Language eng
Abstract A cost of illness (COI) study was undertaken to estimate the magnitude and range of lifetime effects associated with child maltreatment in Australia, using an incidence-based approach. Costs were primarily estimated through calculation of population attributable fractions (PAFs) to determine the marginal effects of child maltreatment on a range of outcomes. PAFs were then applied to estimates of expenditure, inflated to 2014–15 Australian dollars, projected over the life course, according to a baseline age of incident cases for child maltreatment in 2012–13, and discounted at 7% per annum. Sensitivity analysis was conducted using a best and lower bound estimate of incidence of child abuse. The best estimate of the total estimated lifetime financial costs for incident cases of child maltreatment in 2012–13 was $9.3 billion (a cost per child maltreated of $176,437), with a lower bound of $5.8 billion. The best estimate of lifetime costs associated with reduced quality of life and premature mortality (non-financial costs) for all incident cases of child maltreatment in 2012–13 was $17.4 billion, or $328,757 per child maltreated. The considerable lifetime costs associated with child maltreatment warrants an expansion of existing investment in primary and secondary prevention and targeted support services for children and families at risk.
Keyword Child abuse
Child maltreatment
Cost of illness
Economic costs
Social costs
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Child Health Research Centre Publications
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