Family Dysfunction and Social Isolation as Moderators Between Stress and Child Physical Abuse Risk

Academic Article


  • Stress is a significant contributor to child physical maltreatment risk. Family and social supports are expected, but less studied, risk factors. Little empirical support clarifies the interactive influence on abuse risk for non-abusive parents. This study examined whether the stress-abuse risk relation was moderated by family dysfunction and social isolation. Subjective appraisals of these factors were administered to 95 community mothers. After creating composite scores using factor loadings from a CFA, multiple regression analyses were conducted to predict abuse risk. As expected, stress predicted abuse risk, with social isolation and, to a lesser extent, family dysfunction serving as moderators. Perceived stress and dysfunctional supports are important, interactive predictors of abuse risk. Future directions consider interactions within other ecological levels. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Tucker MC; Rodriguez CM
  • Start Page

  • 175
  • End Page

  • 186
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 2