Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Psychology

Sub-Department

College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Ron Prinz

Abstract

Approximately one quarter of parents identified by Child Protective Services (CPS) as having committed child maltreatment will be reidentified within a year. Children who are multiply victimized are at the greatest risk for detrimental outcomes across development. This study looked to determine whether four predictors of interest could help differentiate parents who recommitted maltreatment within an 18-month follow-up period from those who did not. Predictors assessed were the severity of a parents’ substance use, parents’ level of social conflict, parents’ belief in the use of harsh parenting practices and parents’ overall quality of life. Covariates of interest included a parent’s age, race, monthly income, education level and the number of children in the home. This study used a sample of 117 parents of children ages 2 to 8 years who had open CPS cases for substantiated child maltreatment as well as substance use concerns. Analyses consisted of binary logistic regression. Results indicated that parents’ belief in harsh parenting practices significantly predicted child maltreatment recurrence, χ2(1, n=117) = 3.78, p=.046, with each standard deviation increase in belief in harsh parenting associated with an increase of 1.54 in the odds of maltreatment recurrence. Number of children in the home was also a significant predictor, χ2(1, n=117) = 4.00, p=.045, with each additional child in the home increasing the odds for maltreatment recurrence by a factor of 1.50. There was also a significant interaction effect such that for families with fewer children, belief in harsh parenting had a smaller effect on the probability of recurrence than in families with more children.

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