Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Alan Leschied


The purpose of the present study was to explore the differential representation of children

by gender in child protection services. The sample of children was drawn from a large child protection agency in south-western Ontario consisting of 1,041 cases. Child protection files were reviewed to derive study data. Results indicated that there were significant differences by gender regarding the type o f maltreatment children experienced. Girls were more likely to be sexually abused, while boys were more likely to be neglected. Girls more often had psychological concerns, while boys exhibited more cognitive impairment. Further, boys were involved with more other agencies/services than their female counterparts. Boys were younger, more often suspended from school, had more attention and/or conduct disorders, and were more often medicated for adjustment disorders. Girls were significantly older and more likely to have been chronically absent from school. It is suggested that boys may come to the attention of children’s services at an earlier age due to more obvious, externalizing behaviours.

These findings are discussed in relation to their implications for understanding the gendered experiences of boys and girls in child protection services.



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