The approach of immigrant families from the former Soviet Union towards child maltreatment

Ron Shor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In recent years there has been a large wave of emigration from the former Soviet Union (FSU). To acquire knowledge about how Soviet immigrant families perceive and approach situations of child maltreatment a study has been conducted in Israel. A semi structured questionnaire, which included 14 vignettes of abuse and neglect situations, was utilized to interview 55 families. There was a separate analysis of the respondents' perception of the acceptability of the child's behavior and their perception of the acceptability of the maltreating behavior of the parent A general pattern which appeared with respect to the child's behavior was a tendency to support moderately values of obedience, conformity and duty of children. With respect to the parents' behavior, the respondents indicated that in most of the situations the parents' behavior was unacceptable. However, there were vignettes in which the respondents disapproved of the child's behavior but they did not provide legitimization for the parents' reactions. The respondents also indicated a low level of willingness to involve people who were not members of the nuclear family in situations of abuse and neglect. Due to the Soviet families' tendency not to talk about family matters with outsiders and their apparently prescribed approach towards child rearing practices professionals may encounter difficulties in the identification of and intervention in situations of child maltreatment The significance of the need for culturally based knowledge when coping with these difficulties is discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Child maltreatment
  • Former Soviet Union
  • Immigrant parents


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