Child maltreatment prevention programs typically identify at-risk families by screening for risk with limited consideration of how risk might vary by ethnicity. In this study, longitudinal data from mothers who participated in a randomized clinical trial of a home-visitation, child maltreatment prevention program (N = 262) were examined to determine whether risk for harsh parenting differed among mothers who identified themselves as Spanish-speaking Latinas (n = 64), English-speaking Latinas (n = 102), or non-Latina Caucasians (n = 96). The majority of the participants were first-time mothers (58. 4%), and the average age of all participants was 23. 55 years (SD = 6. 04). At the time of their infants' births, the Spanish-speaking Latina mothers demonstrated higher SES risk, whereas the English-speaking Latina and non-Latina Caucasian mothers demonstrated higher psychosocial risk. Three years later, the English-speaking Latina and non-Latina Caucasian mothers reported harsher parenting behaviors than the Spanish-speaking Latina mothers. The need for prevention programs to consider how risk and protective factors differ by ethnic group membership when identifying at-risk mothers is discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Author Note Support for this research was provided by the following grants: P30 DA023920, NIDA, U.S. PHS; R01 HD045894, NICHD, U.S. PHS; and R01 MH059780, NIMH, U.S. PHS. The authors thank the families who participated in the study, their colleagues from the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center in San Diego, and Matthew Rabel for editorial assistance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health