Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 175–186 | Cite as

Family Dysfunction and Social Isolation as Moderators Between Stress and Child Physical Abuse Risk

  • Meagan C. TuckerEmail author
  • Christina M. Rodriguez


Stress is a significant contributor to child physical maltreatment risk. Family and social supports are expected, but less studied, risk factors. Little empirical support clarifies the interactive influence on abuse risk for non-abusive parents. This study examined whether the stress-abuse risk relation was moderated by family dysfunction and social isolation. Subjective appraisals of these factors were administered to 95 community mothers. After creating composite scores using factor loadings from a CFA, multiple regression analyses were conducted to predict abuse risk. As expected, stress predicted abuse risk, with social isolation and, to a lesser extent, family dysfunction serving as moderators. Perceived stress and dysfunctional supports are important, interactive predictors of abuse risk. Future directions consider interactions within other ecological levels.


Child maltreatment risk Physical child abuse potential Social support Family dysfunction Perceived stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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