Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology



First Committee Member

Bradley Donohue, Chair

Second Committee Member

Daniel Allen

Third Committee Member

Murry Millar

Graduate Faculty Representative

Chad Cross

Number of Pages



Parental satisfaction refers to the extent to which parents are satisfied with their children in relation to parent-child interactions and child behavior. The relationship between parental satisfaction and child behavior problems has been demonstrated extensively in the literature. Children who exhibit increased behavior problems appear to be at increased risk of parental aggression. Maltreating parents evidence greater levels of parental dissatisfaction as compared to caregivers of children who are not maltreated. Thus, low parental satisfaction is a suspected risk-factor for child maltreatment. Previous studies have shown that parental substance abuse is also strongly related to occurrence of child maltreatment. This study was designed to determine if various aspects of parental satisfaction can predict child maltreatment potential in mothers referred for treatment of child neglect and drug abuse and determine if parental satisfaction items are more sensitive to detecting risk of child maltreatment potential than measures of child behavior problems. Results found that parental satisfaction had limited utility in predicting child maltreatment potential due to issues of socially desirable responding, as indicated by CAPI Lie scores. Satisfaction with the parent-child relationship appeared to be a protective factor; increased satisfaction was related to decreased child maltreatment potential. Further, after removing participants high in socially desirable responding, decreased overall happiness with children was associated with increased child maltreatment potential. No relationship was found between behavior problems and child maltreatment potential. Study outcomes indicate the importance of including validity measures when assessing parental satisfaction and child maltreatment risk.


Behavior disorders in children; Behavior problems; CAPI; Child abuse; Child maltreatment; Children — Conduct of life; Neglect; Parent and child; Parental satisfaction; Parenthood; Parenting; Parents – Substance use; Problem children; Substance abuse


Mental and Social Health | Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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