The Cultural Adaptation of a Community-Based Child Maltreatment Prevention Initiative

Jill D. McLeigh*, Carmit Katz, Bilha Davidson-Arad, Asher Ben-Arieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A unique primary prevention effort, Strong Communities for Children (Strong Communities), focuses on changing attitudes and expectations regarding communities' collective responsibilities for the safety of children. Findings from a 6-year pilot of the initiative in South Carolina have shown promise in reducing child maltreatment, but efforts to adapt the initiative to different cultural contexts have been lacking. No models exist for adapting an initiative that takes a community-level approach to ensuring children's safety. Thus, this article addresses the gap by providing an overview of the original initiative, how the initiative was adapted to the Israeli context, and lessons learned from the experience. Building on conceptualizations of cultural adaptation by Castro et al. (Prevention Science, 5, 2004, 41) and Resnicow et al. (Ethnicity and Disease, 9, 1999, 11), sources of nonfit (i.e., sociodemographic traits, political conflict, government services, and the presence and role of community organizations) were identified and deep and surface structure modifications were made to the content and delivery. Ultimately, this article describes the adaption and dissemination of a community-based child maltreatment prevention initiative in Tel Aviv, Israel, and addresses researchers' calls for more publications describing the adaptation of interventions and the procedures that need to be implemented to achieve cultural relevance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)393-407
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Process
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Family Process Institute


  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Cultural Adaptation
  • Israel
  • Neighborhoods
  • Primary Prevention


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