Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Dianne Whitaker

Committee Members

Don Dickinson, Bill Calhoun, Schuyler Huck


There is much interest in parenting styles and child behaviors. This study was conducted to identify parenting behaviors that are associated with high risk for child abuse and neglect. Two groups of parents answered questions on the Home Environment Profile (HEP) and their answers were compared. One group of parents was identified to be at-risk for child abuse and/or neglect and met criteria for a child abuse prevention program. The other group was not identified to be at-risk. Analysis of the groups' self-reported parenting behaviors found significant differences in the demographic information and in the area of parenting behaviors labeled consistency. No significant differences were found for the factors labeled communication and rewards. Findings from this study suggest that parenting education programs should include components on consistency, structure, and parental self-management as well as ways to work through concomitant concerns such as low income level and lack of formal education.

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