A history of childhood abuse has been found to adversely affect the transition to motherhood. Compared to other children, children with intellectual and developmental disabilities are at higher risk of being maltreated at home. However, maternal parenting self-efficacy has been found to improve mothers’ positive interactions with their children.
Given that, this study examined the moderating effect of maternal parenting self-efficacy on the relationship between mothers’ childhood abuse experience and their abuse of their children with IDDs.
Participants and setting
Participants include 134 South Korean mothers with children between 2 and 8 years of age with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Mothers’ childhood abuse experience was assessed using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, which measures the extent of mothers’ exposure to parental abuse in their childhood. Parenting self-efficacy was measured using the Echelle Globle du Sentiment de Competence Parentale (EGSCP). The Abusive Parenting scale was used to assess mothers’ abusive parenting; it measured the degree to which mothers had ever either physically or emotionally abused their children.
The moderating effects of parenting self-efficacy on the relationships between childhood emotional abuse and abusive parenting (B = −.06, t(126) = −2.33, p = .022, 95 % CI[−.1142, −.0092]) and between childhood physical abuse and abusive parenting (B = -.07, t(126) = −2.64, p = .009, 95 % CI[−.1283, −.0184]) were significant.
These findings emphasize the importance of helping mothers with a history of abuse alleviate parental stress arising from raising children with IDDs by enhancing their parenting self-efficacy.