A new study has linked the bad economy with a rise in child abuse.
Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that between 2000 and 2009, the rate of child abuse needing hospital admission rose by three percent a year for every one percent increase in the 90-day mortgage-delinquency rate.
The rate of traumatic brain injury likely caused by child abuse during the same period rose five percent, said HealthDay.
“It’s well known that economic stress has been linked to an increase in child physical abuse, so we wanted to get to the bottom of the contrasting reports by formally studying hospital data on a larger scale,” said study lead author, Joanne Wood, assistant professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, reported NBC News.
The study results contradict earlier findings that child abuse has actually gone down nationwide.
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Results also showed that there was no link between unemployment rates and child abuse.
Researchers said that the study shows the need for more outreach efforts in communities, particularly during tough economic times.
"On the community level, we need to recognize that losing a home is very stressful, and we need to let families know that it's OK to ask for help," said Wood, according to MedPage Today.
"We need to provide them links to resources where they can get help."