Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Nursing

Dissertation Committee

Cynthia D. Connelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chairperson; Jane M. Georges, PhD, RN; Andrea L. Hazen, PhD


child neglect, children & youth, Depression, mental health, nursing, parental stress, Postpartum, violence, women


The purpose of this study was to characterize a vulnerable population of postpartum women at risk for family violence and maladaptive outcomes and to determine the degree the identified attributes increase the risk of child neglect and psychological aggression. Lazarus' Appraisal Theory and Scaer's Traumatic Spectrum framework provided a conceptual basis to examine the interrelationships between intimate partner violence (IPV), depression, previous traumatic history, and child neglect. A descriptive correlation design using secondary analysis of longitudinal data collected for the Healthy Families San Diego Clinical Trial was used. Standardized measures including the CTS, CTS2, CTSPC, CES-D and PSI were administered to obtain information about severity of intimate partner violence, parental stress, depression, child neglect, and psychological aggression toward the child at four points in time. Descriptive findings are presented. Logistic regression was conducted to determine which of six selected independent variables increased the (a) risk of child neglect and (b) mother to child psychological aggression. Increased parental stress was found to significantly increase odds for child neglect (p = .003), with a significant increase in the odds for mother to child psychological aggression with increased parental stress (p = .017) and the presence of intimate partner violence physical abuse (p = .020) and psychological abuse (p = .000). Implications for nursing research, education, practice, and health policy are discussed.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons