The temporal-spatial distribution of seriously maltreated children

Holly Thurston, Janice F Bell, Jill G Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This descriptive study utilized Bernoulli and Poisson spatial scan statistical models in SatScan v.9.4 to examine the distribution in space and time of residence of maltreatment cases–operationalized as families with serious maltreatment (resulting in death or hospitalization) of children under 6 years–for the presence of clusters (“hot spots”). In the Poisson model, a population dataset of serious maltreatment cases were non-randomly dispersed in four major areas, with these “hot spots” moving over time and space. Most cases were outside these clusters. In the Bernoulli model, the geographic distribution of a case-control dataset of families with serious maltreatment who were previously investigated by child welfare did not differ compared to controls previously investigated by child welfare with no serious maltreatment. Findings suggest that child fatality prevention efforts such as Back to Sleep and Never Shake a Baby campaigns should continue to be universal efforts, targeted to all parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSpatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Infectious Diseases


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