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Table 1 Variable definitions

From: Opportunities for prevention and intervention with young children: lessons from the Canadian incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect

Outcome Variable Measurement Description
Transferred to Ongoing Service Dichotomous variable Workers were asked to indicate whether the investigation would be opened for ongoing child welfare services at the conclusion of the investigation.
Transfer to ongoing service(1)
Close case (0)
Predictor Variables   
Primary Caregiver Age Categorical variable Workers were asked to indicate the age category of the primary caregiver.
18 years and under (1)
19 to 21 years (2)
22 to 30 years (3)
31 to 40 years (4)
41 years and up (5)
Primary Caregiver Risk Factors Nine dichotomous variables Workers could note up to nine risk factors for the primary caregiver. Risk factors were: alcohol abuse, drug/solvent abuse, cognitive impairment, mental health issues, physical health issues, few social supports, victim of domestic violence, perpetrator of domestic violence, and history of foster care/group home.
Suspected or confirmed concern (1)
No or unknown (0)
Child Functioning Six dichotomous variables Workers could note up to eighteen functioning concerns for the investigated child, indicating whether the concern had been confirmed, suspected, was not present or it was unknown to the worker. This analysis examined six age-appropriate concerns, including: attachment issues, intellectual/developmental disability, failure to meet developmental milestones, Fetal Alcohol Syndrone/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAS/FAE), positive toxicology at birth, and physical disability.
Suspected or confirmed concern (1)
No or unknown (0)
No Second Caregiver in the Home Dichotomous variable Workers were asked to describe up to two caregivers in the home. If there was only one caregiver described there was no second caregiver in the home.
No Second caregiver in the home (1)
Second caregiver in the home (0)
Primary Income Categorical variable Workers were asked to indicate the primary source of the primary caregiver’s income.
Full time employment (1)
Part time/seasonal employment (2)
Other benefits/ unemployment (3)
No income (4)
Household Hazards   Workers were asked to note if the following hazards were present in the home at the time of the investigation: accessible weapons, accessible drugs, production/trafficking of drugs, chemicals/solvents used in drug production, other home injury hazards, and other home health hazards.
At least one household hazard (1)
No household hazards (0)
Household Regularly Runs Out of Money Dichotomous variable Workers were asked to note if the household regularly runs out of money.
Noted (1)
Not Noted (0)
Number of Moves Categorical variable Number of moves reflects the number of moves the household had experienced in the past six months.
No moves (0)
One move (1)
Two or more moves (2)
Type of Investigation Maltreatment investigation (1) Workers were asked to indicate whether the investigation was for an incident of maltreatment or if it was a risk investigation only.
Risk-only investigation (2)
Referral Source   
Source of Allegation/ Referral Nine dichotomous variables Workers were asked to indicate all sources of referral that were relevant for each investigation. This includes separate and independent contact with the child welfare agency. Workers could note up to nineteen referral sources for the investigation. Referral source variables were collapsed into nine categories: non-professional referral sources (custodial parent, non-custodial parent, relative, neighbour/friend), community or social services (social assistance worker, crisis service/shelter, community/recreation centre, community health nurse, community physician, community mental health professional, community agency), hospital, school, other child welfare service, day care centre, police, anonymous, and other.
Noted (1)
  Not Noted (0)