Coercion theory provided the theoretical rationale for the present study. The hypothesis was that mothers' reports of child behavior problems and mothers' reports of external locus of control would be related to abuse potential. A total of 95 mother-child pairs were screened for child abuse potential during visits to a hospital-based pediatrie clinic. Following brief interviews, mothers completed three measures: Milner's Child Abuse Potential Inventory, Levenson's Locus of Control Scales, and the Revised Behavior Problem Checklist. Perceptions of control by powerful others and by chance were related to abuse potential for mothers of both sexes. Mothers' reports of their sons' anxiety-withdrawal and conduct-disorder behavior problems were related to abuse potential. There was a significant association among lie scores, internality, and abuse potential for mothers of female children. Mothers with high abuse potential reported significantly more behavior problems in their children. The findings were discussed in relation to coercion theory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health