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A Preliminary Study of Some Ecological Correlates of Child Abuse: The Impact of Socioeconomic Stress on Mothers
Vol. 47, No. 1 (Mar., 1976), pp. 178-185
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128297
Page Count: 8
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The ecological correlates of child abuse and maltreatment are explored. A model which focuses on the degree to which mothers are given support for the parent function is considered. This model, based on studies by Gil (1970) and Bronfenbrenner's (1974c) analysis of "support systems for parents," is examined empirically. Data on rates of child abuse/maltreatment for counties in New York State-based on reports made pursuant to a new, more stringent 1973 reporting law-are examined in light of indices of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the 58 counties under study. The data suggest that the degree to which mothers in a particular county are subjected to socioeconomic stress without adequate support systems accounts for a substantial proportion (36%) of the variance in rates of child abuse/maltreatment across New York counties, while economic conditions more generally affecting the family account for 16% of the variance. Application of this empirical model (based on the stepwise multiple regression analysis) to 2 additional samples of child abuse/maltreatment reports (1974) in New York State counties yields results consistent with the initial sample from which the multiple regression equation was drawn.
Child Development © 1976 Society for Research in Child Development