Predictors of Child Abuse Potential in At-Risk Adolescents
child abuse, adolescents, conduct disorder, antisocial
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Characteristics prevalent in known child abusers and in child victims of abuse (i.e., internalizing, externalizing, sociopathy, delinquency, and nonrational conflict-solving tactics) were examined as predictors of abuse potential in adolescents. The Child Abuse Potential (CAP) Inventory (Milner, 1986) was administered to male (n = 71) and female (n = 63) teenagers attending alternative educational sites due to behavioral problems or pregnancy. Regression analyses found unique variance in abuse potential contributed by youth (16%) and teacher (6%) reports of internalizing behavior, and youth reports of sociopathy (4%) and delinquency (4%) for a total of 33% of the variance (p < .0001, n = 91) after controlling for age, sex, and pregnancy status. Number of elevated predictors in each student was also related to increased abuse potential (r = .39, p < .001). Pregnancy status and SES were not independently associated with abuse potential. Conduct disorder as a probable precursor to future abusive behavior is suggested, and the use of the CAP with adolescents is discussed.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Journal of Family Violence, v.14, issue 4, p. 417-436
Scholar Commons Citation
Todd, Mary K. and Gesten, Ellis L., "Predictors of Child Abuse Potential in At-Risk Adolescents" (1999). Psychology Faculty Publications. 1447.