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Int J Psychol. 2013;48(2):141-8. doi: 10.1080/00207594.2012.705435.

Child maltreatment as a global phenomenon: from trauma to prevention.


Past studies have clearly showed the negative impact of neglect and abuse on child development at both the psychological and neurobiological levels. To date, many studies have focused on identifying risk and protective factors occurring at all levels of the ecology. However, more distal-level variables, such as culture and ethnicity, have not been studied as much as those of more proximal levels; yet studies in Western countries have consistently found an overrepresentation of child maltreatment reports among ethnic minority groups. In this commentary, we reflect on a series of articles examining maltreatment from a crosscultural perspective and using samples of diverse countries. Taken together, studies in this special section document the terrible fact that maltreatment is a global phenomenon. Through a summary of these studies' main findings and concerns, we highlight four key points that we believe are important to consider for future research and intervention efforts.

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