The evolving evidence base for child protection in Chinese societies

Asia Pac J Public Health 2008; 20: 267-76


Dunne MP, Chen JQ, Wan Yuen C


Child maltreatment is a substantial public health problem worldwide. Although extensively studied in Western countries, until recently little systematic research had been published about the situation in the world's most populous nation and ethnic diaspora. In this review, we examine trends from community-based research with Chinese young people and parents in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. It is clear that many Chinese adolescents experience a substantial burden from various forms of maltreatment and the psychological and behavioral correlates are similar to those found in other cultures. However, the research reveals a large gap between this reality and Chinese adults' perceptions about emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Comprehensive awareness programs are needed to close this information gap and thereby mobilize support for prevention and care initiatives.


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