Missing Children

As featured in Oxford University Press

Missing children


This article investigates the prevalence, patterns and correlates of repeat disappearances by children. Using police-recorded missing persons data, we find that (1) nearly two-thirds of all missing child reports are repeat disappearances, (2) a small proportion of children who go missing repeatedly (15%) account for over half of all missing persons incidents, (3) children who go missing repeatedly tend to travel shorter distances than children reported missing once, and (4) the likelihood of a child going missing on multiple occasions is associated with age, being in care, a history of family conflict, and if going missing was judged to be ‘out of character’.