Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Ashley Mancik


Much research has been done in the field of child homicide. While child homicide is a statistically rare event, it is especially pervasive in the United States. A subsection of research in the child homicide literature is the topic of child maltreatment fatalities, defined as when a child is killed through the means of maltreatment, such as physical abuse or neglect. What has been less so researched, however, is the combination of factors that can affect a child’s fatality risk. The current study seeks to expand on the previous research using the 2019 Child File of the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Set (NCANDS) and Conjunctive Analysis of Case Configurations (CACC), an analytic strategy that can assess contextual variability. The results of this research support the finding in the literature that young children are at significant risk for a child maltreatment fatality, and the most lethal combination of factors is a young white male child in a household without unrelated adults or reports of domestic violence but where there is a history of prior contact with CPS and parental substance abuse. Informing child protective service workers and other stakeholders of the elevated risk produced by this grouping of factors could decrease the amount of child maltreatment fatalities.