Given the impact that parents' and young children's characteristics have on the potential for child maltreatment, the present study sought to examine how mothers' ratings of their own childhood maltreatment, their psychological symptoms, their regulation abilities (i.e., emotion regulation, reflective functioning, attributions, and coping with young children's negative emotions), and their perceptions of their young children's temperament were related to their narratives of their attachment relationships with their young children and their child maltreatment potential. As part of this study, 54 mothers rated themselves and their young children on the aforementioned variables. Binary logistic hierarchical regression analysis suggested that mothers' higher levels of nonsupportive coping styles were associated significantly with an increased likelihood of an unbalanced (insecure) narrative of attachment with their young children. Hierarchical and moderation regression analyses suggested the importance of examining mothers' ratings of their own childhood maltreatment, psychological symptoms, nonsupportive coping styles, and mothers' perceptions of their young children's temperament in predicting mothers' child maltreatment potential. In addition, mediation analyses suggested that both mothers' emotion regulation and reflective functioning were important in predicting coping styles. Finally, exploratory analyses suggested that mothers' emotion regulation and psychological symptoms were important predictors of mothers' child maltreatment potential. Overall, these findings suggested that both mothers' characteristics and their ratings of their young children's temperament played a significant role in the prediction of their narratives of their attachment relationships with their young children and mothers' child maltreatment potential. These findings will be particularly helpful for professionals who work with high risk families, particularly those who are at risk for child maltreatment.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Puff, Jayme, "Mothers' History of Child Maltreatment and Regulation Abilities: Interactions Among Young Children's Temperament, Attachment, and Maltreatment Potential" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5190.