Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 189–196 | Cite as

The Impact of Child Abuse Potential on Adaptive Functioning: Early Identification of Risk

  • Benjamin D. FreerEmail author
  • Ginny Sprang
  • Debbie Katz
  • Clarissa Belle
  • Kelsey Sprang
Original Article


Previous research has investigated the deleterious effects of child maltreatment on child development; however, little research has examined the development of children who live with caregivers who are at risk of maltreatment on child development outcomes. This study utilized self-report data from caregivers that included the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI), Parenting Stress Inventory-Short Form (PSI/SF), and Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-2nd Edition (ABAS-II) for 116 children ages 3-12 from a rural, Appalachian community. Caregivers with lower child abuse potential, children who used fewer school services, older children, and caregivers with lower household income had better total adaptive skills. Caregivers with lower child abuse potential, children who used fewer school services and older children had better functioning on the academic skills subscale. Children who used fewer school services, were older, and had lower family income had greater self-care skills. Finally, children who used fewer school services had greater communication skills. Parent-child dysfunction was not related to child development outcomes. The findings demonstrate that educators are in a unique position to intervene and support children at risk of maltreatment.


Child maltreatment Adaptive functioning School services Rural community 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin D. Freer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ginny Sprang
    • 2
  • Debbie Katz
    • 2
  • Clarissa Belle
    • 2
  • Kelsey Sprang
    • 3
  1. 1.Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityMadisonUSA
  2. 2.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  3. 3.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA

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