Child Maltreatment: Background

The phenomenon of child maltreatment in the home setting is thoroughly examined by researchers, who intend to present a link between the unhealthy environment in families and the future wellbeing of individuals. They claim that the adverse outcomes of improper attitudes towards the offspring are generally connected to their low social-emotional competence, behavioral problems in the process of personality formation, and poor physical functioning in adulthood (Afiaz et al., 2021; Luecken et al., 2013; Archer et al., 2017). Meanwhile, alongside the similarity of findings of the studies on the subject, they also share the same gap in knowledge. Thus, scholars tend to neglect external factors in the development of the mentioned problems. Even though people’s mental health is primarily related to the emotional climate in their families in childhood, it cannot be fully explained without examining this aspect. This consideration leads to the necessity to include other variables in the analysis, and the most critical of them are race and ethnicity.

The difference between the representatives of various population groups with regard to child abuse and its outcomes was highlighted by the studies aimed at distinguishing the consequences for them. This initiative allowed researchers to conclude on the prevalence of specific issues in minorities living in similar conditions as their peers occupying a more favorable position in society (Lee & Chen, 2017; Widom et al., 2012). Thus, alcohol abuse, more specifically, binge and heavy drinking, depended on one’s racial background (Lee & Chen, 2017). Moreover, the results of child neglect for White, Black, and Hispanic children led to the prevalence of particular issues in each of these categories of citizens (Widom et al., 2012). These facts do not allow for adopting a generalized approach to the matter. Therefore, it is critical to thoroughly examine the connection between maltreatment in families and further complications in adult life with respect to people’s ethnicity and race.


Afiaz, A., Masud, M. S., & Mansur, M. (2021). Impact of child’s cognitive and social-emotional difficulties on child abuse: Does mother’s justification of intimate partner violence also play a role? Child Abuse & Neglect, 117, pp. 1-17. Web.

Archer, G., Pinto Pereira, S., & Power, C. (2017). Child maltreatment as a predictor of adult physical functioning in a prospective British birth cohort. BMJ Open, 7(10), e017900. Web.

Lee, R. D., & Chen, J. (2017). Adverse childhood experiences, mental health, and excessive alcohol use: Examination of race/ethnicity and sex differences. Child Abuse & Neglect, 69, 40-48. Web.

Luecken, L. J., Roubinov, D. S., & Tanaka, R. (2013). Childhood family environment, social competence, and health across the lifespan. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30(2), 171–178. Web.

Widom, C. S., Czaja, S., Wilson, H. W., Allwood, M., & Chauhan, P. (2012). Do the long-term consequences of neglect differ for children of different races and ethnic backgrounds? Child Maltreatment, 18(1), 42–55. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. "Child Maltreatment: Background." September 6, 2023.