ERIC Number: EJ788633
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Hostility Ratings by Parents at Risk for Child Abuse: Impact of Chronic and Temporary Schema Activation
Farc, Maria-Magdalena; Crouch, Julie L.; Skowronski, John J.; Milner, Joel S.
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v32 n2 p177-193 Feb 2008
Objective: Two studies examined whether accessibility of hostility-related schema influenced ratings of ambiguous child pictures. Based on the social information processing model of child physical abuse (CPA), it was expected that CPA risk status would serve as a proxy for chronic accessibility of hostile schema, while priming procedures were used to manipulate temporary accessibility of hostility-related schema. Methods: Participants included 108 parents (79 low and 29 high CPA risk) in Experiment 1 and 88 parents (43 low and 45 high CPA risk) in Experiment 2. Parents were randomly assigned to either hostile or neutral priming conditions. Following the priming procedures, all parents rated pictures that depicted children who appeared ambiguous with regard to the extent to which they were being hostile/cooperative. Results: In both experiments, high, compared to low, CPA risk parents rated the ambiguous child pictures as more hostile. Further, both supraliminal (Experiment 1) and subliminal (Experiment 2) exposure to hostility-related words independently increased hostility ratings. In both experiments, the influence of chronic and temporary activation of hostile schema was additive and not interactive. Conclusion: Findings from these experiments are consistent with the proposition that high CPA risk parents are more likely to infer hostility in response to ambiguous child cues. Further, accessibility of hostility-related schema in parents increases the likelihood of hostile inferences, which in turn may increase attributions of hostile intent and aggressive parenting behaviors.
Descriptors: Child Abuse, Parent Child Relationship, Inferences, Cognitive Processes, Psychological Patterns, Schemata (Cognition), Risk, Parent Attitudes, Evaluation Methods, Cues, Pictorial Stimuli, Parenting Styles, Aggression
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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