Attributional style as a mediator between parental abuse risk and child internalizing symptomatology

Academic Article


  • This study examined a model wherein children's attributional style mediates the relationship between parental physical child-abuse risk and children's internalizing problems. Using structural equation modeling, three indices of abuse risk were selected (child abuse potential, physical discipline use, and dysfunctional parenting style) and two indices of children's internalizing problems (depression and anxiety). The sample included 75 parent-child dyads, in which parents reported on their abuse risk and children independently completed measures of depressive and anxious symptomatology and a measure on their attributional style. Findings supported the model that children's attributional style for positive events (but not negative events) partially mediated the relationship between abuse risk and internalizing symptoms, with significant direct and indirect effects of abuse risk on internalizing symptomatology. Future directions to continue evaluating additional mediators and other possible contextual variables are discussed. © 2006 Sage Publications.
  • Published In

  • Child Maltreatment  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rodriguez CM
  • Start Page

  • 121
  • End Page

  • 130
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 2