Child Maltreatment and Global Health: Biocultural Perspectives

  • Brandon A. Kohrt
Part of the Child Maltreatment book series (MALT, volume 2)


In this chapter, the challenges of applying cultural, biological, and structural models to child maltreatment are discussed. As a prolegomenon toward more biocultural approaches of conceptualizing maltreatment in the field of global mental health, the relationship between culture and biology is explored from multiple vantages. First, culture moderates the relationship risk of maltreatment and biological factors such as sex, disabilities, and medical illness. Second, the evidence for biological sequelae of maltreatment is scarce from a cross-cultural perspective. Some forms of maltreatment are overrepresented in low and middle income countries such as female genital cutting, and forced conscription of child soldiers, leading to increased and diverse health consequences. Third, the cross-cultural evidence for gene-by-environment interactions is limited by variation in prevalence of alleles and exposures. Fourth, structural factors and macro-cultural processes underlie most biocultural interactions. Macro-cultural process should be targets of intervention.


Child Maltreatment Oppositional Defiant Disorder Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Corporal Punishment Oppositional Defiant Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Duke Global Health InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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