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Individual, family, and culture level contributions to child physical abuse and neglect: A longitudinal study in nine countries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2015

Jennifer E. Lansford*
Affiliation:
Duke University
Jennifer Godwin
Affiliation:
Duke University
Liliana Maria Uribe Tirado
Affiliation:
Universidad San Buenaventura
Arnaldo Zelli
Affiliation:
University of Rome Foro Italico
Suha M. Al-Hassan
Affiliation:
Hashemite University and Emirates College for Advanced Education
Dario Bacchini
Affiliation:
Second University of Naples
Anna Silvia Bombi
Affiliation:
Università di Roma La Sapienza
Marc H. Bornstein
Affiliation:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Lei Chang
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Institute of Education
Kirby Deater-Deckard
Affiliation:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Laura Di Giunta
Affiliation:
Università di Roma La Sapienza
Kenneth A. Dodge
Affiliation:
Duke University
Patrick S. Malone
Affiliation:
Duke University
Paul Oburu
Affiliation:
Maseno University
Concetta Pastorelli
Affiliation:
Università di Roma La Sapienza
Ann T. Skinner
Affiliation:
Duke University
Emma Sorbring
Affiliation:
University West, Trollhättan
Sombat Tapanya
Affiliation:
Chiang Mai University
Liane Peña Alampay
Affiliation:
Ateneo de Manila University
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jennifer E. Lansford, Duke University, Center for Child and Family Policy, Box 90545, Durham, NC 27708; E-mail: lansford@duke.edu.

Abstract

This study advances understanding of predictors of child abuse and neglect at multiple levels of influence. Mothers, fathers, and children (N = 1,418 families, M age of children = 8.29 years) were interviewed annually in three waves in 13 cultural groups in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). Multilevel models were estimated to examine predictors of (a) within-family differences across the three time points, (b) between-family within-culture differences, and (c) between-cultural group differences in mothers' and fathers' reports of corporal punishment and children's reports of their parents' neglect. These analyses addressed to what extent mothers' and fathers' use of corporal punishment and children's perceptions of their parents' neglect were predicted by parents' belief in the necessity of using corporal punishment, parents' perception of the normativeness of corporal punishment in their community, parents' progressive parenting attitudes, parents' endorsement of aggression, parents' education, children's externalizing problems, and children's internalizing problems at each of the three levels. Individual-level predictors (especially child externalizing behaviors) as well as cultural-level predictors (especially normativeness of corporal punishment in the community) predicted corporal punishment and neglect. Findings are framed in an international context that considers how abuse and neglect are defined by the global community and how countries have attempted to prevent abuse and neglect.

Type
Regular Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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