Preventing child maltreatment: Key conclusions from a systematic literature review of prevention programs for practitioners

Noa Cohen*, Carmit Katz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Child maltreatment (CM) is a worldwide social problem and there is a large consensus that its prevention is of crucial importance. The current literature review highlights CM prevention studies that target practitioners, with the aim of assessing the knowledge in this area, informing future efforts and benefiting the international task of mitigating CM. Specifically, the study presents key conclusions from prevention programs evaluated in peer-reviewed journals from the last decade selected using the PRISMA systematic literature review guidelines. Out of the 26 manuscripts that discussed prevention programs targeted at practitioners, 20 programs were identified. While sexual abuse prevention programs were the most common, followed by programs addressing general child maltreatment, only two studies addressed child physical abuse. More than a third of the prevention programs were interdisciplinary, while healthcare providers had the highest number of specifically tailored programs. The discussion addresses the considerable lack of detail in the relevant manuscripts and urges future efforts to further elaborate on necessary details to enable other researchers and practitioners to better assess and determine the congruence between child maltreatment research and prevention programs. Additionally, some methodological issues in the included manuscripts, such as the lack of control groups and the related challenges, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105138
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Child maltreatment (CM)
  • Education
  • Prevention
  • Systematic literature review
  • Welfare


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