A bibliometric analysis of the global research trend in child maltreatment

Bach Xuan Tran, Thang Van Pham, Giang Hai Ha, Anh Toan Ngo, Long Hoang Nguyen, Thuc Thi Minh Vu, Ha Ngoc Do, Vu Nguyen, Anh Tuan Le Nguyen, Tung Thanh Tran, Nu Thi Truong, Vuong Quan Hoang, Tung Manh Ho, Nhue Van Dam, Thu Trang Vuong, Hung Quang Nguyen, Huong Thi Le, Hoa Thi Do, Mackenzie Moir, Yoko ShimpukuMeghnath Dhimal, Shalini Subash Arya, Tu Huu Nguyen, Suraj Bhattarai, Carl A. Latkin, Cyrus S.H. Ho, Roger C.M. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Child maltreatment remains a major health threat globally that requires the understanding of socioeconomic and cultural contexts to craft effective interventions. However, little is known about research agendas globally and the development of knowledge-producing networks in this field of study. This study aims to explore the bibliometric overview on child maltreatment publications to understand their growth from 1916 to 2018. Data from the Web of Science Core Collection were collected in May 2018. Only research articles and reviews written in the English language were included, with no restrictions by publication date. We analyzed publication years, number of papers, journals, authors, keywords and countries, and presented the countries collaboration and co-occurrence keywords analysis. From 1916 to 2018, 47,090 papers (53.0% in 2010–2018) were published in 9442 journals. Child Abuse & Neglect (2576 papers; 5.5%); Children and Youth Services Review (1130 papers; 2.4%) and Pediatrics (793 papers, 1.7%) published the most papers. The most common research areas were Psychology (16,049 papers, 34.1%), Family Studies (8225 papers, 17.5%), and Social Work (7367 papers, 15.6%). Among 192 countries with research publications, the most prolific countries were the United States (26,367 papers), England (4676 papers), Canada (3282 papers) and Australia (2664 papers). We identified 17 authors who had more than 60 scientific items. The most cited papers (with at least 600 citations) were published in 29 journals, headed by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (7 papers) and the Lancet (5 papers). This overview of global research in child maltreatment indicated an increasing trend in this topic, with the world’s leading centers located in the Western countries led by the United States. We called for interdisciplinary research approaches to evaluating and intervening on child maltreatment, with a focus on low-middle income countries (LMICs) settings and specific contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1456
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 10 2018


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Child maltreatment
  • Global mapping
  • Scientometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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