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Child Maltreat. 2013 Feb;18(1):42-55. doi: 10.1177/1077559512460728. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Do the long-term consequences of neglect differ for children of different races and ethnic backgrounds?

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1
John Jay College, New York, NY 10019, USA. cwidom@jjay.cuny.edu

Abstract

Scant research has examined how children of different races or ethnic backgrounds manifest consequences of neglect. We examined multiple domains of functioning (academic/intellectual, social/behavioral, and psychiatric), three theories (racial invariance, double jeopardy, and resilience), and potential confounding variables. Children with documented cases of neglect (ages 0-11) and matched controls without such histories were followed up and interviewed in adulthood (N = 1,039). The sample was 47.3% female, 62.4% White, 34.3% Black, and 3.4% Hispanic. Black and White neglected children showed negative consequences for IQ, reading ability, and occupational status compared to controls. Compared to same race and ethnic group controls, neglected White children showed extensive mental health consequences, Black children showed more anxiety and dysthymia, and Hispanic children showed increased risk for alcohol problems. Black and White neglected children differed in risk for violence compared to same race controls: Neglected Black children were arrested for violence two times more often than Black controls, whereas neglected White children were more likely than White controls to report engaging in violence. Findings provide some support for each theory (racial invariance, double jeopardy, and resilience). Understanding the factors that account for similarities and differences in consequences requires further investigation. Implications for research and policy are discussed.

PMID:
23076836
DOI:
10.1177/1077559512460728
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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