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Ethnic Disparities in Childhood Prevalence of Maltreatment: Evidence From a New Zealand Birth Cohort

Abstract : Objectives. To document ethnic disparities in childhood abuse and neglect among New Zealand children. Methods. We followed the 1998 New Zealand birth cohort of 56 904 children through 2016. We determined the cumulative childhood prevalence of reports to child protective services (CPS), substantiated maltreatment (by subtype), and out-of-home placements, from birth to age 18 years, by ethnic group. We also developed estimates stratified by maternal age and community deprivation levels. Results. We identified substantial ethnic differences in child maltreatment and child protection involvement. Both Māori and Pacific Islander children had a far greater likelihood of being reported to CPS, being substantiated as victims, and experiencing an out-of-home placement than other children. Across all levels of CPS interactions, rates of Māori involvement were more than twice those of Pacific Islander children and more than 3 times those of European children. Conclusions. Despite long-standing child support policies and reparation for breaches of Indigenous people’s rights, significant child maltreatment disparities persist. More work is needed to understand how New Zealand’s public benefit services can be more responsive to the needs of Indigenous families and their children.
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Bénédicte Rouland, Rhema Vaithianathan, Denise Wilson, Emily Putnam-Hornstein. Ethnic Disparities in Childhood Prevalence of Maltreatment: Evidence From a New Zealand Birth Cohort. American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, 2019, 109 (9), pp.1255-1257. ⟨10.2105/AJPH.2019.305163⟩. ⟨hal-03783783⟩



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