Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Peggy Mohr


Child Abuse


Child abuse has existed for many centuries, but has only recently been recognized as a serious social problem. Child abuse affects millions of children each year from all income, racial and ethnic groups; thereby affecting society as a whole. Many studies have shown the devastating psychological, social, cognitive and physical effects of child abuse. There are a limited number of studies that demonstrate the role of physical therapists in working with victims of abuse. It is necessary that therapists learn to recognize signs and symptoms of abuse and know the appropriate action to take.

The purpose of this study is to review the literature; thereby giving an overview of child abuse, its history, its effects, predisposing risk factors and a therapist's role in recognizing and treating the abused child. The proposed results of this study are to increase awareness about child abuse as a significant social problem and to give therapists an idea of how to recognize warning signs and take appropriate actions in treating victims of abuse.