There are many assumptions and myths about both perpetrators and victims of child maltreatment. Literature and research on this topic can be found in the health, mental health, and social work fields of study. The perceptions and beliefs about what causes child maltreatment, how to treat perpetrators and victims, and how to prevent child maltreatment often shift based on new research or old assumptions.
- Child abuse occurs in all classes of society.
- Maladjusted psychological need may drive an adult to abuse a child. One thing in common among different types and degrees of abuse is failure to consider a child's long-term interest.
- Imposing malnutrition on a child can be a form of abuse depending on severity. For example, causing a child to forfeit breakfast one morning might not be considered child abuse.