USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Battered-Child Syndrome

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Joan A Reid

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2010


Battered-child syndrome is the initial term used by physicians in the United States to describe an array of symptoms in children physically injured or severely neglected by their caregivers. The term, battered-child syndrome, is now seldom used; terms encompassing many types of abuse, such as, child maltreatment, child abuse, or up-to-date medical terms, such as, shaken baby syndrome and nonaccidental trauma are more commonly employed. However, in an historical context, the establishment of the term remains as a significant milestone in the treatment of victimized children. In the legal sector, battered-child syndrome has seen limited use as an affirmative defense for parricide. This entry begins with a brief definition of battered-child syndrome, provides the historical perspective of the term’s impact on the treatment and protection of battered children, a summary of U.S. statistics of child maltreatment, and prognosis for battered children.


Sage Publications

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.