Date of Conferral





Public Health


Vasileios Margaritis


Every year, about 1 million children are abused in the United States and an average of 4.5 of those children die daily at the hands of caretakers, parents, relatives, or friends. Using the ecological model as a guide, the purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between family structure and specific types of child maltreatment utilizing cases from an agency in Montgomery, Alabama, in 2012-2013. Approximately 727 cases of child maltreatment were reviewed. Logistic regression results indicate married and common law families' children are 1.83 times more likely to experience sexual abuse than the reference category (single) (OR= 1.834, 95% CI:1.19, 2.81). As it relates to relationship to the offender, children are 2.1 times more likely to experience sexual abuse from an acquaintance; someone who is known by the child but is a non-family member, compared to the reference level (stranger) (OR= 2.1, 95% CI:1.20, 3.65). This research can promote positive social change by providing awareness to the local community about child maltreatment; the findings provide policymakers, public health departments, healthcare officials, health advocates, and communities needed information on the child maltreatment and the specific family structures that are associated.