skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 135780 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Physiological Responses to Non-Child-Related Stressors in Mothers at Risk for Child Abuse
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:16  Issue:1  Dated:(1992)  Pages:31-44
Author(s): G M Casanova; J Domanic; T R McCanne; J S Milner
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH34252
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated changes in heart rate and skin conductance in response to four types of non-child-related stressors in mothers at risk for child abuse and a matched group of mothers at low risk for child abuse.
Abstract: A group of 151 parents were screened with the Child Abuse Potential (CAP) Inventory. Parents who scored high (166 points) on the CAP abuse scale were included in the at-risk subject pool. Parents who scored below the median norm abuse scores were included in a low-risk subject pool. Fifteen of the at-risk parents were individually matched with 15 low-risk parents on gender, ethnic background, age, marital status, and number of children. The four types of non-child-related stressors applied to the two groups were a cold pressor, a stressful film that depicted industrial accidents, unsolvable anagrams, and an aversive car horn. Compared to low-risk mothers, at-risk mothers had greater and more prolonged sympathetic activation during presentations of the cold pressor and the stressful film, the stimuli rated as the most stressful. These data, combined with previous findings, support the view that generalized sympathetic activation to both child and non-child-related stressors may serve as a mediator of physical child abuse. 2 tables, 3 figures, 29 references, and summaries in French and Spanish
Main Term(s): Abusing parents; Stress assessment
Index Term(s): Biological influences; Offender profiles; Psychological influences on crime
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.