Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 73–98

Perceived social support and competence in abused children: A longitudinal perspective

  • E. Milling Kinard

DOI: 10.1007/BF02110538

Cite this article as:
Kinard, E.M. J Fam Viol (1995) 10: 73. doi:10.1007/BF02110538


The stress-social support-psychological well-being model and the social network theory of child development were used to examine the impact of child abuse and maternal perceptions of social support and competence on child perceptions of social support and competence at two points in time. The influence of child social support on child competence was also assessed. The sample consisted of 165 abused children and their mothers and a matched comparison group of 169 nonabused children and their mothers. As a source of stress, abuse had no significant independent effects on children's perceptions of social support and competence at either time period. The strongest predictors of children's views of their competence were perceived support from mothers, peers, and teachers. The findings underscore the importance of social support for the psychological well-being of children.

Key words

child abuse social support competence depression 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Milling Kinard
    • 1
  1. 1.Family Research Laboratory, 126 Horton Social Science CenterUniversity of New HampshireDurham