Child Maltreatment Among Younger and Older Adolescent and Young Adult Parents: Understanding Child Maltreatment from a Person-Centered Perspective Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • Colon, Holly Nichole
    • Affiliation: School of Education
  • Much literature documents factors associated with child maltreatment among adult parents. Previous research often cites factors such as the intergenerational transmission of abuse, depressive symptoms, and attachment relationships as important factors in child maltreatment among the adult as well as general population of parents. It is also often reported that adolescent parents are more likely to engage in child maltreatment than their older counterparts. Much less is known however, about child maltreatment among younger and older adolescent parents and whether factors associated with child maltreatment among young adults are applicable to parents at different stages in their social, emotional, and intellectual development. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate four different types of child maltreatment; supervision neglect, physical neglect, physical assault, and total child maltreatment, among younger and older adolescent, and young adult parents. The study drew on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Data for this study included self-report measures of intrapersonal and interpersonal current contextual and historical factors for 4,150 adolescents who reported having a least one child prior to the Add Health Wave III interview. The data was nationally representative of parents less than 26-years old in the years 2001 to 2002. Four different sets of analyses were conducted in order to provide a comprehensive and wholistic understanding of child maltreatment among parents at different stages in their development. Using cluster analyses, evidence for the existence of subgroups of parents was identified primarily based on experiences with assault, followed by emotional closeness, and depressive symptoms. Cluster solutions primarily differed from one another based on how experiences with assault were structured as organizing variables. Several clusters were also found to vary in terms of total child maltreatment within their respective cluster solutions. Descriptive analyses and comparisons amongst parent age groups revealed that the youngest subpopulations of parents were most vulnerable to factors commonly associated with risk. Lastly, a series of regression analyses illustrated that factors predictive of child maltreatment often function differently among parents at different developmental stages as well as maltreatment type.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Education (School Psychology)."
  • Simeonsson, Rune
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

This work has no parents.