Send to

Choose Destination
Child Abuse Negl. 2006 Dec;30(12):1365-79. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Cultural factors in decision-making about child physical abuse: identifying reporter characteristics influencing reporting tendencies.

Author information

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-2051, USA.



This study examined cultural factors that may influence child physical abuse reporting. Relevant cultural factors such as the respondents' ethnic identity and corporal punishment acceptability were investigated as proximal variables of ethnicity that affect child physical abuse reporting tendencies.


Participants consisted of 378 Caucasian, Hispanic, and African American college students. Participants read 12 vignettes that varied the ethnicity of the child and described a parent using physical punishment with the child. Participants' level of ethnic identity and their acceptance of different discipline practices were also assessed. Data were analyzed using multiple regression procedures.


The ethnicity of the respondent was a significant predictor of reporting tendencies for African American respondents only. For African Americans, higher levels of ethnic identity and acceptance of corporal punishment were significant mediators of reporting tendencies, which influenced the relationship between ethnicity and likelihood to report a child of the same ethnicity.


The results of this study indicate that ethnic minorities may not share similar cultural values and may differ in their degree of adherence to certain cultural variables. These results demonstrate how cultural variables that influence reporting tendencies may not apply across ethnic groups. Therefore, specifying relevant cultural variables is essential to understanding the relationship between ethnicity and reporting tendencies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center