Title

The relationship between mother’s child abuse potential and current mental health symptoms: Implications for screening and referral

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Keywords

Care Administration’s (AHCA) 1915b demonstration waiver, researchers at the Louis de la Parte

Abstract

This analysis examined data from mothers at 2 of the 9 sites participating in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) national Women Co-occurring Disorders and Violence Study (WCDVS). According to previous literature, it was hypothesized that women in the WCDVS would be at high risk of perpetrating child abuse. This research examined mothers' potential for physical child abuse and assessed the association between child abuse potential, current mental health symptoms, alcohol and drug use severity, and trauma. Results revealed that participants had significant potential for child abuse. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that current mental health symptoms were the strongest predictor of mothers' scores on the Child Abuse Potential (CAP) Inventory. This study highlights the important relationships between commonly used instruments across the mental health, substance, and child welfare fields and the potential dual use of these instruments. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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