Maltreatment by staff in residential care facilities: The adolescents' perspectives

Shalhevet Attar-Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This study examines the prevalence and multilevel correlates of verbal and physical maltreatment of 1,324 Israeli adolescents by staff in 32 residential care settings. Hierarchical linear modeling is used to examine the relationships among adolescents' maltreatment, individual-level characteristics (age, gender, adjustment difficulties, and perceived social climate and policy), and institution-level characteristics (setting care type, size, structure, and ethnic affiliation). The findings suggest that 29 percent of adolescents report being verbally maltreated and one-quarter report experiencing physical maltreatment. Vulnerability to maltreatment is found to be high for boys, adolescents with adjustment difficulties, youth who perceive staff as strict, and those who see staff as unsupportive. Maltreatment is positively associated with residence in Arab care settings, with the size of the institution, and with the concentration of vulnerable youth. The study emphasizes the need for the development of interventions and preventions tailored to the risk groups identified.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)635-664
Number of pages30
JournalSocial Service Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


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