Stress and anger as contextual factors and pre-existing cognitive schemas: Predicting parental child maltreatment risk

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christina M. Rodriguez, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Progress in the child maltreatment field depends on refinements in leading models. This study examines aspects of social information processing theory (Milner, 2000) in predicting physical maltreatment risk in a community sample. Consistent with this theory, selected preexisting schema (external locus-of-control orientation, inappropriate developmental expectations, low empathic perspective-taking ability, and low perceived attachment relationship to child) were expected to predict child abuse risk beyond contextual factors (parenting stress and anger expression). Based on 115 parents’ self-report, results from this study support cognitive factors that predict abuse risk (with locus of control, perceived attachment, or empathy predicting different abuse risk measures, but not developmental expectations), although the broad contextual factors involving negative affectivity and stress were consistent predictors across abuse risk markers. Findings are discussed with regard to implications for future model evaluations, with indications the model may apply to other forms of maltreatment, such as psychological maltreatment or neglect.

Additional Information

Child Maltreatment, 12(4), 325-337
Language: English
Date: 2007
aggressive behavior, child abuse potential, child maltreatment, dysfunctional parenting style, social information processing theory

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