The Relative Influence of Family and Neighborhood Factors on Child Maltreatment at Critical Stages of Child Development

Kathryn Maguire-Jack, Susan Yoon, Yujeong Chang, Sunghyun Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the impact of family and neighborhood factors on physical and psychological abuse across three developmental stages of children: early childhood (age 3), young school age (age 5), and middle childhood (age 9). Data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a longitudinal national cohort study of children from 20 urban U.S. cities, are used. Path analysis is employed to investigate the longitudinal relationships between family and neighborhood context variables and abuse risk, as well as the importance of different factors at key developmental stages. Economic hardship, maternal substance use, intimate partner violence, and exposure to community violence are found to be related to child abuse risk regardless of developmental stage, while maternal depression and neighborhood informal social control are found to have impacts only within certain child development stages. Findings suggest the need for early intervention and prevention strategies that specifically target economic hardship, poverty, intimate partner violence, and exposure to community violence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number163
JournalChildren
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The data were made available by Fragile Families funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development R01-HD-036916.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Families
  • Neighborhoods
  • Path analysis
  • Risk and protective factors
  • child maltreatment

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