Maltreatment in Daycare Settings: A Review of Empirical Studies in the Field

Anat Talmon*, Julia Ditzer, Ada Talmon, Noga Tsur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Daycare maltreatment refers to abusive and/or neglectful acts perpetrated by teachers, directors, non-professionals or volunteers, family members of staff, and peers in a daycare setting. Despite growing evidence of its occurrence, the prevalence and consequences of daycare maltreatment for the child, the parent(s), and their dyad are largely unknown. This qualitative systematic literature review was conducted to synthesize the existing literature referring to daycare maltreatment, using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. In order to be included in the analysis, the manuscripts needed to report empirical findings regarding maltreatment in daycare settings, be written in English, be published in a peer-reviewed journal or a dissertation, and be accessible by our research team. In all, 25 manuscripts met the above criteria and were included in the review. Our results indicate that reports of daycare maltreatment are characterized by early age of abused children, inferring mainly to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. The majority of these manuscripts reported caregivers’ and teachers’ abuse, while peer victimization was reported much less. In addition, the findings demonstrated a higher representation of female perpetrators compared to abuse in other scenarios. Although some indications of long-term implications are reported in the manuscripts, a well-validated measure for assessment of daycare maltreatment seems to be lacking. These findings contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the complex experience and ramifications of daycare maltreatment, providing insight into its multi-faceted implications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)512-525
Number of pages14
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • abuse
  • attachment trauma
  • caregivers
  • childhood maltreatment
  • daycare
  • systematic review

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