Addressing Ethnocultural Factors in Treatment for Child Physical Abuse

Eileen J. Santa-Sosa, Melissa K. Runyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article used an ecological model to identify relevant ethnocultural factors (ECFs) and to suggest intervention strategies targeting these factors within combined parent–child cognitive behavioral therapy, an evidence-based treatment (EBT) for families at risk for child physical abuse (CPA). Three case vignettes were presented of families of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, including a multi-racial African American and European American family, an African American family, and an Arab American family, referred to a specialty clinic after an allegation of inappropriate physical discipline or substantiated physical abuse. The vignettes illustrate strategies to address ECFs, including race and ethnicity, immigration, acculturation, religious beliefs, and sociocultural context, related to parental beliefs and practices about child discipline. Intervention strategies presented provide practical guidance for clinicians working with diverse families. The ECFs identified in this paper can also guide future research in selecting relevant variables for empirical studies on the association between ECFs and the primary domains of intervention in EBT for families at risk for CPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1660-1671
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Child physical abuse
  • Cultural competence
  • Cultural contexts
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Treatment/intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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