The Symptoms of Child Physical Abuse by Frequency and Specificity | Abstract
Journal of Forensic Biomechanics

Journal of Forensic Biomechanics
Open Access

ISSN: 2090-2697


The Symptoms of Child Physical Abuse by Frequency and Specificity

Yuri Lee, Garam Noh, Alexandra A Barber, Katherine Ginna, Alison P Wilson, John E Tis and Dennis M Cullinane

The modern medical history of child physical abuse dates back to 1946 with the publication by John Caffey, Multiple Fractures in the Long Bones of Infants Suffering from Chronic Subdural Hematoma. This now-classic paper was the first modern clinical recognition of child physical abuse and laid the cornerstone for all future clinical diagnoses, as well as prevention and prosecution legislation at state and federal levels. Today, the primary literature is replete with descriptions and analyses of the symptoms of child abuse, but the typical focus is on individual symptoms, their frequencies, and how to diagnose them. Despite the obvious clinical and legal advantages, a quantitatively derived global set of child abuse symptoms based upon both frequency and specificity, and resulting constellations has rarely been addressed or applied. The authors present a quantitative synthesis of the primary literature of child physical abuse, characterizing and ranking symptoms by both frequency and specificity, in hopes that it will serve as a useful tool for future diagnoses and interventions.