Uniform TitleVerbal abuse by parents who maltreat or are at-risk for maltreatment of children: predictors and interventions
NameLange, Richard T. (author), Baer, Judith (chair), LaSala, Michael (internal member), Simmel, Cassandra (internal member), Herzog, Elaine (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Psychological child abuse
DescriptionExcessive verbal abuse by parents is psychologically and emotionally damaging to children. Studies of the effects of verbal abuse on children have found that children exposed to parental verbal abuse develop internalized problems including anxiety, depression, delayed mental development, and general health problems; and externalized behaviors, mainly aggression. These behaviors continue into adulthood. Verbal abuse is an especially acute problem in the population of families at risk of losing their child(ren) because of maltreatment or neglect. Despite the fact that the best way to stop or prevent verbal abuse is to understand its causes, verbal abuse in these families is virtually unstudied; even in the general population, the number of studies is small. This thesis is one of the first studies of the predictors of verbal abuse in at-risk populations.
A secondary analysis of the LONGSCAN longitudinal baseline data (visits at ages 4, 6, and 8) was undertaken to measure the influence of the factors identified in studies of the general population on the likelihood of verbal abuse in a sample of low income, African American, White, and Hispanic mothers (N=862), mostly drawn from an at-risk population. The Conflicts Tactic Scale was used to categorize mothers as verbally abusive or not, and determine the frequency of verbal abuse. Logistic regression was used to measure the predictive value of the factors identified in studies of the general population. Changes in the rates of verbal abuse from visit 4 to visit 6 and from visit 6 to visit 8 were used to measure the efficacy of interventions.
The results indicate that the demographics of the verbally abusive population were indistinguishable from those of the non-abusive population. The predictors of verbal abuse identified from studies of the general population were found not to be good predictors of abuse in the at-risk group. Anger, manifested by throwing, grabbing, or pushing, however, was found to be highly correlated with verbal abuse. No interventions significantly reduced abuse.
Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 195-202).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.