Trajectories of maternal harsh parenting in the first 3 years of life. Child Abuse and Neglect, 34(12), 897-906

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Child abuse & neglect (Impact Factor: 2.34). 10/2010; 34(12):897-906. DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2010.06.002
Source: PubMed


Despite the high prevalence rates of harsh parenting, the nature of developmental change in this domain early in life and the factors that contribute to changes in harsh parenting over time are not well understood. The present study examined developmental patterns in maternal harsh parenting behavior from birth to age 3 years and their related longitudinal risk factors (contextual and intrapersonal). Partner aggression was also tested as a time-varying predictor to examine its time-specific influence on maternal harsh parenting.
Longitudinal data from 4 assessments of a community sample of 488 at-risk mothers were analyzed using latent growth curve modeling. Maternal risk factors and harsh parenting behaviors were assessed at birth and at ages 1, 2, and 3 years.
There was a significant increase in maternal harsh parenting from birth to age 3, particularly between ages 1 and 2. There was a significant direct effect of maternal alcohol use and abuse history on maternal harsh parenting at age 3, and maternal age was positively associated with change in maternal harsh parenting over time. In addition, partner aggression was significantly and positively associated with maternal harsh parenting at each time point.
The findings suggest possible developmental trends in the emergence of maternal harsh parenting during infancy and toddlerhood. Further investigation is needed to elucidate individual differences in the developmental patterns and to differentiate predictive factors that persist across time and factors that are unique to specific developmental stages.
The overall high prevalence rates of harsh parenting behavior and growth of such behavior in infancy and toddlerhood support the need for developmentally sensitive early intervention programs.

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    • "Because early attachment relationships contribute to the child's evolving representational models of self and of self in relation to others, it is important to understand the specific mechanistic pathways of harsh parenting on long-term outcomes for boys and girls. Early exposure to cumulative risks including maternal depression and harsh parenting have important implications for understanding processes of socio-emotional development (Sturge-Apple, Davies, Martin, Cicchetti, & Hentges, 2012) and for targeting effective early intervention programs to enhance secure parent–child relationships (Gershoff, 2002; Kim et al., 2010). Given the gaps in the current literature, this study was designed to longitudinally test whether harsh parenting (M) mediates the association between early-occurring maternal depression (X) and children's dysregulated internal representations (Y) and the moderating impact of gender (W) (see Figure 1). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is some evidence linking maternal depression, harsh parenting, and children's internal representations of attachment, yet, longitudinal examinations of these relationships and differences in the developmental pathways between boys and girls are lacking. Moderated mediation growth curves were employed to examine harsh parenting as a mechanism underlying the link between maternal depression and children's dysregulated representations using a nationally-representative, economically-vulnerable sample of mothers and their children (n = 575; 49% boys, 51% girls). Dysregulation representations were measured using the MacArthur Story Stem Battery at five years of age (M = 5.14, SD = 0.29). Harsh parenting mediated the association between early maternal depression and dysregulated representations for girls. Though initial harsh parenting was a significant mediator for boys, a stronger direct effect of maternal depression to dysregulated representations emerged over time. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for intervention efforts aimed at promoting early supportive parenting.
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    • "Three community studies examined alcohol use among mothers (Berger, 2005; Kim, Pears, Fisher, Connelly, & Landsverk, 2010). One of these reported a longitudinal relation between maternal alcohol use and later harsh parenting (Kim et al., 2010). Berger (2005) also found a significant association between maternal alcohol use and CM. "
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    ABSTRACT: This review examines the association between alcohol and illicit drug use and the perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) and child maltreatment (CM). In clinical populations, alcohol use is related to IPV, although other variables are also known to influence this relationship. Studies in specialized social/health care and in the community have also demonstrated the association between alcohol use and IPV. Although data on the association between illicit drug use and IPV are less clear, in most studies perpetration seems related to the use of cannabis and cocaine. The occurrence of CM is related to alcohol use in specialized social/health care and community populations but has not been extensively investigated in clinical samples. These findings also apply to studies on the association between illicit drug use and CM. Moreover, many studies on CM fail to distinguish between the effects of alcohol and those of illicit drugs. This review concludes with recommendations for future research about substance use and family violence and discusses implications for prevention and treatment. © The Author(s) 2015.
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    • "Given their own lack of security and fulfillment, parents who are battered may be preoccupied and overwhelmed with stress that translates into more irritability and less patience with misbehaving children . Harsh parenting is more likely to occur in families with family violence, and is a time-varying predictor in mothers who are involved in IPV (Kim, Pears, Fisher, Connelly, & Landsverk, 2010). Research has noted that harsh, cold, and inconsistent parenting is related to higher levels of aggression in children, and more likely to occur to highly stressed, unstable families (Tracy & Johnson, 2006). "
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