ABSTRACT: The current study investigated the association between the acceptability of parentchild aggression, as demonstrated in a new analog measure, and self-reported support for spanking and mothers' child abuse potential. The connection between the analog of acceptability of parent-child aggression and attitudes toward children was also investigated. The Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory - 2 (AAPI-2) Inappropriate Expectations Scale was designated as a measure of attitudes toward children and the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI) was used as a measure of abuse potential. The Attitudes Toward Spanking/Slapping My Child Scale (ATS) was the self-report measure of acceptability of parent-child aggression. Following a pilot evaluation, the analog ultimately contained eight video segments, three portraying physical discipline and five depicting child physical abuse. Participants were instructed to terminate the video when they considered the scene abusive, based on the idea that longer delay would reflect greater acceptance of parent-child aggression. The analog and self-report measures were dministered to a sample of 70 mothers as part of a larger parenting study. Correlational analysis indicated there are significant relationships among mothers' child abuse potential, acceptability of parent-child aggression, and attitudes toward children. Mothers who endorsed attitudes that were more devaluing of children also showed more acceptability of parent-child aggression, when measured with the self-report (ATS) or the analog. The acceptability of parent-child aggression, either with the analog or self-report, was also associated with child abuse potential. Results indicate that the analog measure does have a positive association with self-report. Unexpectedly, child abuse potential as not associated with participants' distinction between abuse videos and discipline videos. Implications of this study include needing to understand factors that prompt some mothers to view all parent-child aggression as abuse whereas some mothers view all aggression as discipline. Findings support previous literature indicating that analog measures are a promising way to measure sensitive constructs that are subject to response bias. Master of Science
Original: University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections.