Weaving culture with consequence: Immigrant status and child maltreatment outcomes in early adulthood


Kuper, Julie L. (2023). Weaving culture with consequence: Immigrant status and child maltreatment outcomes in early adulthood. Child Abuse and Neglect. vol. 146


Background: Child maltreatment is associated with a host of negative consequences over the life course, the most concerning of which is violence. Nevertheless, many abused and neglected youth do not grow up and commit violence. Meanwhile, research consistently finds an immigrant paradox, where foreign-born nativity is protective against a range of negative life outcomes. It may be that immigrants to the U.S. are more resilient to child maltreatment and less likely to engage in violence later in life.
Objective: This study contributes to the literature on victimization and the immigrant paradox by determining whether the effect of child maltreatment on later violence varies between immigrants and non-immigrants. Participants and setting The present study uses a subsample of 964 foreign- and 12,808 native-born persons from Waves I and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health.
Methods: Logistic regression models are specified and interaction terms are used to determine moderating effects of immigrant status on the link between child maltreatment and later violence. Results Findings indicate that child maltreatment significantly increased the odds of violent behavior in early adulthood by nearly 64 %, and this result was not moderated by immigrant status. Supplemental analyses continued to show generality in maltreatment effects.
Conclusions: The idea that child maltreatment is less harmful among foreign-born persons, or that they are able to “bounce back” from this form of victimization due to their unique multicultural assets, is not evidenced here. Key policy implications include a need for culturally competent victim services.




Child maltreatment

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Child Abuse and Neglect


Kuper, Julie L.

Year Published


Volume Number



December 01, 2023



Reference ID