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01-09-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 9/2015

Pathways Linking Victimization, Depression, Personal Mastery, and Perceptions of Parenting Competence Among Low-Income Women

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 9/2015
Lynette M. Renner, Courtenay E. Cavanaugh, Scott D. Easton


Millions of women experience childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and physical intimate partner violence (PIPV). Yet, little is known about the pathways through which these victimization experiences may impact women’s sense of their parenting competence. We conducted a secondary analysis of a dataset obtained through the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. The purpose of our study was to examine associations between CSA, PIPV, depressive symptoms, personal mastery, and perceptions of parenting competence among low-income mothers of young children (N = 264). Our hypotheses were: (a) CSA would be positively associated with PIPV, (b) PIPV would be positively associated with depressive symptoms and negatively associated with mastery and parenting competence, and (c) the association between PIPV and women’s sense of parenting competence would be mediated by depressive symptoms and mastery. The results supported our first and third hypotheses and partially supported our second hypothesis. Our study findings suggest that interventions that reduce mothers’ depressive symptoms may also improve their perceptions of personal mastery and parenting competence.

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