skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 183730 Find in a Library
Title: Culture and Child Maltreatment (From Battered Child, Fifth Edition, P 29-48, 1997, Mary E. Helfer, Ruth S. Kempe, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-183728)
Author(s): Jill E. Korbin Ph.D.
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: University of Chicago Press
Chicago, IL 60637
Sale Source: University of Chicago Press
Publicity Manager
5801 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL
United States of America
Type: Collected Work
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The relationship between culture and child maltreatment is complex, politically charged, and fraught with unresolved issues, and the challenge in understanding child maltreatment in terms of different cultures is to encompass cultural diversity and ensure equitable standards of care and protection for all children.
Abstract: Cultures vary in their definitions of optimum, deficient, and even adequate parenting, and these differences significantly influence definitions of child abuse and neglect. All cultural practices are not necessarily good for the individuals who experience them. Therefore, the child protection field should more carefully evaluate what a specific cultural practice entails, how it fits within the cultural context, what its distribution is within the population, and what impact it has on members of the culture. Less attention has been paid in the literature to intra-cultural variability, or the continuum of behaviors that are accepted by a cultural group. Child maltreatment is generally not cultural in the sense of a whole group acting to the explicit detriment of children. Instead, child maltreatment generally involves individuals who act outside the culturally accepted continuum of behaviors and practices. The evidence is somewhat contradictory concerning the impact of culture on the incidence and prevalence of child maltreatment. The importance of culture is difficult to determine due to imprecise definitions of both culture and maltreatment, possible bias in reporting, and the confounding of social class and culture. Culture is likely to be important in the etiology of child maltreatment in providing the context for identifying factors that are risk-enhancing or risk-reducing. Moreover, cultural competence is critical in addressing and resolving family difficulties and in bolstering family strengths. Prevention and intervention strategies should consider client variables and perspectives, including cultural affiliation. 113 references, 1 figure, and 1 photograph
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse causes; Child abuse prevention; Child abuse treatment; Child protection services; Child victims; Crimes against children; Cultural influences; Family support; Juvenile dependency and neglect
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.