Although studies have reported a linkage between young pregnancy and child maltreatment risk, it is still unclear about what factors place young mothers at greater risk of maltreating their child in Chinese context. Based on the socio-ecological model, risk factors in 4 domains: family background/structure, maternal stressors, mother-child interaction, and child behavioral issue in relation to physical assault, neglect, both physical assault and neglect, and either physical assault or neglect among Chinese young mothers in Hong Kong were assessed. 392 young mothers were recruited from an integrated supportive program for young mothers. The mean age of mothers at delivery was 21.8 (SD = 3.0) and 52.3% were married. Individual risk factors and cumulative risk domains related to different child maltreatment groups were examined. Our results show both overlapping and unique risk factors across the domains associated with physical assault and neglect. Further, young families exposed to higher number of risk domains show higher rates for physical assault and neglect, co-occurrence of physical assault and neglect, and either form of maltreatment. In addition, various risk domains were found to be particularly important for different forms of maltreatment: family background/structure domain was found to be an important risk domain for neglect; mother-child interaction domain for both physical assault and neglect; family background/structure and maternal stressors domains for either physical assault or neglect. Closer examination of a subgroup of adolescent mothers aged 18 and below shows that family background/structure was an important risk domain for this group.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health