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Children, Violence, and Latino Culture: Implications for Social Work Practice. Colloquium presentation Abbie Sumrall April 29, 2009. Objectives. Understand many ways children are exposed to violence Comprehend the effects of violence on children

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children violence and latino culture implications for social work practice

Children, Violence, and Latino Culture: Implications for Social Work Practice

Colloquium presentation

Abbie Sumrall

April 29, 2009

  • Understand many ways children are exposed to violence
  • Comprehend the effects of violence on children
  • Learn about interventions used to work with children exposed to violence
  • Understand Implications for working with Latinos
internship experience
Internship Experience
  • Casa Central Safe Start Program
  • Population
  • Responsibilities
    • Individual Counseling
    • Community Education/Outreach
    • Coalition Building
ways children are exposed to violence
Ways Children are Exposed to Violence
  • Media Communication
  • The home/family
  • School
  • Community
experience violence through
Experience Violence Through….
  • Sound
  • Sight
  • Physical Contact
  • Intrinsic Feeling
the myths
The Myths
  • Children are too young to


  • They didn’t see the abuse

they just heard it

  • It wasn’t abuse it was


  • Out of thousands of studies that have been done to look at the effects of violence in media and aggression the more children are exposed to this the more they exhibit violent behavior and attitudes(Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 1999)
media statistics continued
Media Statistics Continued
  • Cartoons- 41 acts of

violence each hour

  • 6th grade = exposed

to over 8,000 homicides

and over 100,000 acts of


(Singer & Singer, 2001)

school exposure to violence
School Exposure to Violence
  • This problem exists when there is an imbalance of power between the victim and abuser and can involve hitting, manipulating, verbal abuse, neglect etc.

(Juvenile Justice Bulletin, 1998)

  • First place children are abused
  • Effects
  • 1 in 5 children
  • 8% of children each year miss a day of school each month because of fear of being abused at school by other students (Limber& Nation, 1998)
abuse neglect and domestic violence
Abuse, Neglect, and Domestic Violence
  • Effects every race, socioeconomic, culture, and religion
  • National Epidemic
  • More than 2.5 million reports are made in the US each year, and hundreds of these reports end in death.

(National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence)

community violence
Community Violence
  • Thirty percent of students have seen a stabbing
  • Twenty-five percent of students have seen a shooting

(Jenkins and Bell, 1997)

types of abuse
Types of Abuse....
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Emotional
  • Neglect
brain functioning
Brain Functioning
  • Excessive stress changes chemistry and synapses

(Perry, & Pollard, 1997)

  • PET Scan
  • Amygdala
  • Hippocampus
infants and small children
Infants and Small Children
  • Difficulties eating
  • Regression in Development
  • Regression in ability to talk
  • Difficulties with relationships with others
  • Lack of ability to prosper
school age children
School Age Children
  • Psychosomatic symptoms
  • Bed wetting
  • Problems in school
  • Behavior problems
  • Changes in Play
  • Talking about death often
  • Violence
  • Depression
  • Separation anxiety
social work interventions
Social Work Interventions
  • Trauma Focused- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Child-Parent Psychotherapy
  • Filial Play Therapy
  • Adapted Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
trauma focused cbt
Trauma Focused- CBT
  • Psycho education
  • Stress Management
  • Affect Expression/Modulation
  • Cognitive Coping
  • Creating the Trauma Narrative
  • Cognitive Processing
  • Behavioral Management Training
  • Parent Child Sessions
child parent psychotherapy the national child traumatic stress network
Child-Parent PsychotherapyThe National Child Traumatic Stress Network
  • Treatment Description: “ a psychotherapy model that integrates psychodynamic, attachment, trauma, cognitive-behavioral, and social-learning theories into a dyadic treatment approach designed to restore the child-parent relationship and the child’s mental health and developmental progression that have been damaged by the experience of domestic violence”
components of a play session
Components of a Play Session
  • Structure
  • Understand the Child
  • Communicate with the Child
  • Limits
  • Small but incredible steps
  • “Julie and Jamie”
  • “Rosa and her mother”
research project

Research Project:

Exploring Cultural Factors that Affect Practice in Violence Prevention and Recovery with Latino-American Children ages 0-5 and their Families

why is this important
Why is this important?
  • It has been repeatedly demonstrated that immigrant families have higher rates of domestic violence compared to other populations. In addition, “Immigrant and refugee families are particularly at risk for domestic violence because of their migration history and differences in cultural values and norms” (Pan, Daley, Rivera, Williams, Lingle, & Reznik, 2006, p.36).
  • Three times as many Latinos experience community violence than Caucasians (Pan et al., 2006).
cultural competency
Cultural Competency

The Myth of Cross-Cultural Competence

“Once we presume to “know” about another we have appropriated that person’s culture and reinforced our own dominant, egocentric position” (Dean, 2001, p.629).

  • Understanding of practitioners of background
  • Many Latino Cultures with different backgrounds and history
implications continued
Implications Continued
  • Providing education to the Latino community about services to break down barrier of fear
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Understand cultural ideas such as Machismo that can be ingrained in children and families
  • ( Feb. 232009) Proceedings of North American Association of Christians in Social Work Audio Conference on Child Trauma Hope and Healing. Chicago, IL.
  • Children, violence, and the media: A report for parents and policy makers.  Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Utah, Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, Prepared by Majority Staff, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, September 14, 1999.
  • Dean, Ruth, G. (2001). The myth of cross-cultural competence. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 82(6), 623-630.
  • Jenkins, E.J., and Bell, C.C. (1997). “Exposure and Response to Community Violence among Children and Adolescents.”
  • Landau, Elaine. Teenage Violence. Englewood Cliffs: NJ. Simon & Shuster, Inc. 1990.
  • Lieberman, A. F. & Van Horn, P. (2005) "Don't hit my mommy!" A manual for child- parent psychotherapy for young witnesses of family violence. Zero to Three Press, 2004.
references continued
References continued...
  • Limber, S. P, & Nation, M. M. published in “Combating Fear and Restoring Safety in Schools,” Juvenile Justice Bulletin, April 1998 
  • National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence. (2009). Child abuse information. Retrieved April 27, 2009, from child.htm
  • Pan, A., Daley, S., Rivera, L. M., Williams, K., Lingle, D., & Reznik, V. (2006).

Understanding the role of culture in domestic violence: the ahimsa project for safe families. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 8(1), 35-43.

  • Perry, B. & Szalavitz, M. (2007). The boy who was raised as a dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrist’s notebook: What traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing. Basic Books.
references continued1
References continued
  • Perry, BD and Pollard, D. Altered brain development following global neglect in early childhood. Society For Neuroscience: Proceedings from Annual Meeting,New Orleans, 1997
  • Risser, Heather J. (April 3,2009). Proceedings from the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority Conference on Adapted Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. Chicago, IL.
  • Singer, D. G., & Singer, J. L. (2001).Handbook of children and the media. SAGE Publisher.