Child Maltreatment Among Immigrant Chinese Families: Characteristics and Patterns of Placement Researchers: Siyon Rhee, Janet Chang, Dale Weaver and Danette Wong Reviewed By: Dominique Goldring Jaime Watkins Scott Wildesen Psyc 308 – October, 28 2008
One-fourth of the nation’s foreign-born residents in the US today are Asian.
More than 80% of Chinese people who currently live in the US are
foreign-born or have at least one parent who is foreign-born.
Chinese immigrants, like people of other ethnicities, go through psychosocial
problems, such as domestic violence, family breakup, parent-child conflict,
substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, unemployment, and discrimination,
contrary to misconceptions.
There is a mistaken belief that Chinese Americans don’t need as much
governmental assistance, social services and mental health care as other
ethnicities in the US population.
Abuse in Asian Americans is underrepresented in literature.
CPS agencies do not have adequate post investigation placement
decisions for immigrant Asian American child abuse victims.
The objective of this study was to examine types of child abuse in Chinese
immigrants and limited-English-speaking perpetrators in Los Angeles, and
behavioral characteristics of typical victims.
The study wanted to identify some of the variables CPS takes into
consideration for post investigation placement decisions.
Lastly, it aimed to present effective child welfare practices for Chinese
immigrant child abuse victims and their families.
In a previous study by Gong (1985), showed that white Americans rated
vignettes depicting child physical and verbal abuse more severely than did
Asian Americans. Asian Americans were more focused on the child sexual
Asian Americans also picked the least intrusive measures for intervention.
This may be because of the collectivistic attitudes of the Chinese
Chinese Americans have different standards and definitions of child
maltreatment, so the newer they are to America, the less they know
about American standards for child maltreatment- acculturation.
Asian cultures are generally more accepting of corporal
Courts should look more at cultural practices and the context of the abuse
when studying immigrant families.
221 Chinese cases files maintained by the Asian Pacific unit
of the Los Angeles County Department Of Children and Family
Monolingual or Limited-English-speaking Chinese families
Reported for Abuse from July through September 2001
Immigrant families living in Los Angeles County
Reviewing of Case files to determine information available in the records
Records included referral source, emergency response status disposition
of the case and placement decisions.
A data extract form was created and consisted of four sections measuring
victims’ sociodemographic and psychosocial characteristics, perpetrator
characteristics, family characteristics, and CPS case activities and decisions.
Victim Characteristics – child’s gender, age, language preference,
behavioral problems, type of abuse, severity and duration
relationship to victim, language preference, education, occupation,
length of residence in US, and living arrangement
Family Characteristics – special circumstances under which the abuse
occurred and presence of family problems such as domestic
violence and divorce.
Methods Data Analysis:
Data extracted from the case files were analyzed by using
Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the odds of children
being kept in or removed from the home on selected independent variables
First study of its type
Study came to same results as Ima and Hohm
Overall results similar to the study done by Change and his colleagues
In the study 18.9% of cases were of physical abuse and 27.4% neglect
and 11 cases were sexual abuse
U.S. census shows Asian Americans are the second largest ethnic group
in California and also fastest growing minority in America
High Physical Abuse rates reflect
Tang found 3 main types of obedience factors for role expectations
Daughter’s obedience of father
Wife’s obedience of husband
Widows obedience of eldest son
Only 3.9% sexual abuse cases reported compared to 6.9%
for non-Asian families
Some possibilities may be
No sexual interaction until marriage
Mothers more likely to use physical abuse
Fathers more likely to use emotional abuse
Mother primary care taker
Solve problems within
The shame of loss face
11.5 yrs. Was the average number of years the perpetrator
lived in the U.S.
Results show time does have an effect
Longer families live in the U.S. the less severe the abuse
Asian Pacific Research and Development Council found
15.8% below poverty level
35.8% of total population held a professional level job
15.9% of them were perpetrators
Perpetrators had fewer years of education than their counterparts
74% overall has high school degree
55.7% had 12 or more years of schooling
10.5% overall speak English only
32.2% speak English well
7.2% or perpetrators spoke English as first language
220 sustained victims in study
162 in home placement
58 out of home placement
Child Welfare systems reported in 2006
35.5% in home placement
64.5% out of home (relative or foster care)
Poverty and Income
Influences severity and durations of abuse
Study shows not true
Noticed family income wasn’t even recorded in cases
Needs for continuing the experiment
Establish clear policies of abuse
Help from the community
Ways of solve these problems
Inform immigrant families of situation
Better teaching of methods to attain from abuse
Better family systems
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