Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

Dr. Phyllis Solomon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Qin Gao, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Daniel Pollack, J.D., M.S.W.

Abstract

Objective: This study examined the role of social support in relation to parenting stress and risk of child maltreatment among Asian American immigrant parents.

Methods: This study used a secondary analysis of data from the Survey of Asian American Families which was a cross-sectional study with a total sample size of 273. In the current study, a sample of 259 Asian American immigrant parents who identified to be first-generation was included for analysis. Descriptive, One-way ANOVA, and multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine study questions: relationships between parenting stress, social support, and risk of child maltreatment as well as potential moderating effect of social support.

Results: The results showed that there was a significant positive relationship between parenting stress and risk of child maltreatment even after controlling other predictors. While a significant relationship between social support and risk of child maltreatment was found, the relationship became weakened and insignificant as other predictors were controlled. Contrary to the hypothesized expectation, the moderating effect of social support possibly buffering the negative impacts of parenting stress on risk of child maltreatment was not warranted. Interestingly, there were significant differences in parenting stress, social support, and risk of child maltreatment among Asian ethnic subgroups.

Conclusions: This study suggests providing more culturally competent interventions that aim to reduce parenting stress and intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment, increasing utilization of available services and awareness on child protective services, and enhancing Asian immigrant families to develop a social support system of family and friends. The findings further suggest a possible direction for future research such as including more representative samples, adopting culturally sensitive measures, and examining similarities and differences in parenting stress, social support, and risk of child maltreatment among Asian American immigrants.

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