The truism that abusive childhoods lead to troubled adulthoods is as valid in Beijing as Baltimore. That’s the conclusion of a study recently published in the journal Children and Youth Services Review.
In a first-of-its-kind survey of 2,690 inmates in the Chinese capital’s 11 jails, 90 percent reported they were victims of at least two of five forms of childhood abuse: emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, or physical neglect.
“Men reported high levels of physical abuse, whereas women reported high levels of physical neglect,” reports a research team led by Peking University psychologist Yuyin Wang.
The researchers found a strong link between childhood physical abuse and eventual conviction for a violent crime. They note that while cultural norms are changing, many Chinese still cling to a “harsh parenting style,” which will only be modified with better education and such Western-style interventions as child protective services.
Perhaps some of those Tiger Moms are far too ferocious.