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Teenage Neglect / EM

The following is a summary of the systematic review findings up to the date of our most recent literature search. If you have a specific clinical case, we strongly recommend you read all of the relevant references as cited and look for additional material published outside our search dates.


Review last updated in March 2014

Neglect is the most common form of child abuse, but frequently goes unrecognised within the adolescent population. In a survey of children aged 11-17 in the UK, 13.4% described severe maltreatment 1.  Although much emphasis is placed on the maltreatment of younger children, in a study of serious case reviews in the UK 18% of those fatally or seriously maltreated were older than 14 years 2.  There is increasing recognition of the prevalence of emotional abuse and this is the second most common reason for children to be placed on the child protection register in the UK 3 and the third most common reason in the US 4


Given the ability of adolescents to describe their experiences, we have elected to review solely the features that they self report. This review has been conducted utilising a ‘rapid review’ methodology.  


This systematic review aims to define the self-reported features of adolescents aged 13 – 17 completed years who are experiencing any form of neglect including physical, emotional, supervisory, medical, educational or nutritional and / or emotional maltreatment (EM).


The review seeks to answer the following review question:


1. What are the self-reported or self-rated features of a child (13-17 completed years) currently experiencing neglect and/or emotional maltreatment in OECD countries?



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  1. Radford L, Corral S, Bradley C, Fisher H, Bassett C, Howat N, Collishaw S. Child abuse and neglect in the UK today. National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). 2011 [Available from the NSPCC website]

  2. Ofsted. Ages of concern: learning lessons from serious case reviews. A thematic report of Ofsted’s evaluation of serious case reviews from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2011. 2011 [Available from the Ofsted website]

  3. NSPCC. Research briefing: Emotional Abuse. 2013 [Available from the NSPCC website]

  4. US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. Child Maltreatment 2012. Washington DC. 2013 [Available from the Children's Bureau website]


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