Associations between child physical abuse potential, observed maternal parenting, and young children's emotion regulation: Is participation in Early Head Start protective?

Katherine W. Paschall, Ann M. Mastergeorge, Catherine C. Ayoub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Clinicians working with Early Head Start (EHS) families consider family well-being and positive parent–child relationships as foundational to school readiness. Understanding the links between risk factors and these dimensions of family engagement can inform clinical decision-making, as risk assessments are used to tailoring program services. The current study examined the associations between high risk, or potential, for child physical abuse and both parenting quality and children's emotion regulation (ER) during toddlerhood; EHS participation was examined as a buffer. The sample included EHS-eligible mothers of infants (N = 80) drawn from one site of the EHS Research and Evaluation Project. Associations were tested between mothers’ potential for child physical abuse, measured during infancy, and observed maternal sensitivity, positive regard, harshness, and children's ER skills at child ages 1 and 2 years. Results indicated that high potential for child physical abuse was associated with lower positive regard at age 1 and lower ER skills at age 2. EHS participation operated as a buffer on each of these associations. Implications for screening for child physical abuse potential and the constructs it represents in clinical settings as well as how EHS can promote family engagement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-185
Number of pages17
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Keywords

  • Early Head Start
  • Early Head Start
  • Emotionsregulation
  • Erziehung
  • Potenzial für Kindesmissbrauch
  • Programa de Comienzo Temprano
  • child abuse potential
  • crianza
  • emotion regulation
  • parentage
  • parenting
  • potencial de abuso del niño
  • potentiel de maltraitance de l'enfant
  • programme américain de Early Head Start
  • regulación de la emoción
  • régulation de l’émotion

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