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Assessing the Impact of Maternal Stressors on the Occurrence of Child Neglect Among At-Risk Mothers

Phillips, Chereese (2015) Assessing the Impact of Maternal Stressors on the Occurrence of Child Neglect Among At-Risk Mothers. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The over-arching purpose of this dissertation was to assess the way in which maternal stressors contributed to occurrences of child neglect among a sample of high risk mothers. The second aim was to examine whether maternal stressors varied based on race. The third and final aim sought to ascertain whether social support moderated the relationship between maternal stressors and child neglect. This cross-sectional study utilized data from The Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN). The study sample (N = 585) was predominantly comprised of impoverished African American mothers. Logistic regression analysis results revealed that maternal stressors such as substance use, employment status, marital status, and child’s behavioral health concerns significantly contributed to the occurrence of child neglect. In addition, the study found maternal stressors varied based on race. There were significant differences between African American and Caucasian mothers regarding their experience of maternal stressors and their subsequent child neglect perpetration; in this high risk sample, Caucasian mothers had higher rates of child neglect perpetration. Substance use was the primary predictor of child neglect among African American mothers while child behavioral health concerns and single motherhood were the primary predictors of child neglect among Caucasian mothers. Despite previous empirical evidence, in this population social support did not moderate the relationship between child neglect and maternal stress. Implications for policy and practice are further discussed.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Phillips, Chereesechp52@pitt.eduCHP52
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairRauktis, Mary Bethmar104@pitt.eduMAR104
Committee CoChairCopeland, Valiresswvcc@pitt.eduSSWVCC
Committee MemberFusco, Rachelraf45@pitt.eduRAF45
Committee MemberKoeske, Garygkoeske@pitt.eduGKOESKE
Committee MemberDoswell, Willawdo100@pitt.eduWDO100
Date: 25 November 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 June 2015
Approval Date: 25 November 2015
Submission Date: 25 November 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 144
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Social Work > Social Work
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Maternal stress, child neglect, at-risk mothers, social support, stressors
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2015 19:15
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:31


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