Is your child getting neglected while you are busy hunting for a job? Beware, unemployment problems lead to child neglect as parents have limited resources to fulfil their child’s basic necessities, reveals a new study. The study defines that if any child is getting neglected or abused, either by emotional, mental, physical or sexual pressures, under the age of 18, the incidents would be accounted under child maltreatment. The researchers said in a statement that child neglect may also have significant consequences in later life, affecting mental health, unemployment chances and an increased risk of substance abuse.

“Research has already been done on the causal effect of economic conditions on domestic violence but never on children. Therefore, this research provides a very different dynamic,” said Elisabetta De Cao, a researcher at the University of Oxford. The researchers used the data from National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System and reported every incident of child abuse and neglect from 2004 to 2012.

The findings showed a significant link between unemployment and child neglect, with a 1% increase in the unemployment rate leading to a 20% increase in the child neglect. However, there does not seem to be a relationship between unemployment and other forms of child abuse.

“During hard times, if parents lose their jobs and don’t have access to safety nets, they no longer have the means to provide for their children, which ultimately leads to neglect,” noted Dan Brown, another researcher from the same University. “We also found an indication that after a job loss people spend less on basic goods, like food and beverages. In doing so, this can lead to a higher likelihood of neglect.”