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Dataset Details

Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) ages 0-18

Dataset Number: 170

Current Data Version: 1.4


Runyan, D., Dubowitz, H., English, D., Kotch, J., Litrownik, A., & Thompson, R.


LONGSCAN is a consortium of research studies operating under common by-laws and procedures. It was initiated in 1991 with grants from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect to a coordinating center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and five data collection sites. Each site is conducting a separate and unique research project on the etiology and impact of child maltreatment. While each project can stand on its own merits, through the use of common assessment measures, similar data collection methods and schedules, and pooled analyses, LONGSCAN is a collaborative effort that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

The goal of LONGSCAN is to follow the 1300+ children and their families until the children themselves become young adults. Maltreatment data are collected from multiple sources, including review of Child Protective Service records every two years. Yearly telephone interviews allow the sites to track families and assess yearly service utilization and important life events.

In addition to the specific focus of the individual studies, the coordinated LONGSCAN design permits a comprehensive exploration of many critical issues in child abuse and neglect on a combined sample of sufficient size for unprecedented statistical power and flexibility. Built into the LONGSCAN design is also the ability to replicate and extend findings across a variety of ethnic, social and economic subgroups.

The findings of LONGSCAN will provide a scientific basis for policy-making, program planning, and targeting service delivery by increasing our understanding of the following:

  • the child, family, and community factors which increase the risk for maltreatment in its different forms;
  • the differential consequences of maltreatment, depending upon its timing, duration, severity, and nature, and upon the child's age and cultural environment;
  • the child, family, and community factors (e.g., chronic exposure to violence, parental substance abuse) that increase the harm caused by different forms of maltreatment;
  • the factors that increase the probability of positive child outcomes despite maltreatment and other adverse life circumstances;
  • the strengths and weaknesses of various societal interventions such as child welfare programs, foster care, mental health services, parenting classes, etc.

Some of the sites are involved in intervention research and evaluation of services, expediting the integration of research findings into policy and practice.

Researchers who order the LONGSCAN data from NDACAN should review the LONGSCAN user support information at the NDACAN website.

Bibliographic Citation

Runyan, D., Dubowitz, H., English, D., Kotch, J., Litrownik, A., & Thompson, R. (2014). Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) ages 0-18, Version 1.4 [Dataset]. National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. Doi:

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