Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and
Neglect (NIS-3), September 5 through December 4, 1993
The National Incidence Study (NIS) is a congressionally mandated, periodic
effort of the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN). The first
NIS (NIS-1), mandated under P.L. 93-247 (1974), was conducted in 1979 and 1980
and published in 1981. The second NIS (NIS-2), mandated under P.L. 98-457 (1984),
was conducted in 1986 and 1987 and published in 1988. The third NIS (NIS-3)
was mandated under P.L. 100-294. The NIS-3 data were collected in 1993 and
1994, analyses conducted in 1995 and 1996, and these results published in 1996.
A key objective of the NIS-3 was to provide updated estimates of the incidence
of child abuse and neglect in the United States and measure changes in incidence
from the earlier studies.
The NIS-3 offers an important perspective on the scope of child abuse and neglect. The NIS includes children who were investigated by child protective service (CPS) agencies, but it also obtains data on children seen by community professionals who were not reported to CPS or who were screened out by CPS without investigation. This means that the NIS estimates provide a more comprehensive measure of the scope of child abuse and neglect known to community professionals, including both abused and neglected children who are in the official statistics and those who are not. The NIS follows a nationally representative design, which means that the estimates represent the numbers of abused and neglected children in the United States who come to the attention of community professionals.
The NIS-3 was conducted in a nationally representative sample of 42 counties. In every county, the CPS agency was a key participant, providing basic demographic data on all the children who were reported and accepted for investigation during the 3-month study data period, September 5 through December 4, 1993. Further details about the child's maltreatment and the outcome of the CPS investigation were obtained for a representative sample of these cases.
NIS-3 contains 2 data files the Main Public Use File and the CPS-Only Public Use File. The Main Public Use File includes cases submitted by CPS and Non-CPS sources that met the NIS definitions for abuse and neglect, and contains 6486 cases and 213 variables. The CPS-Only Public Use File includes all the cases investigated by CPS, and contains 7565 cases and 248 variables.
Sociometrics obtained this dataset from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect