Mediating effects of parental psychological distress and individual-level social capital on the association between child poverty and maltreatment in Japan.
Child Abuse Negl. 2018 Jul 16;83:142-150
Authors: Isumi A, Fujiwara T, Nawa N, Ochi M, Kato T
Child poverty is well known as a major risk factor for child maltreatment. However, it is not known whether parental psychological distress and individual-level social capital mediate the association. We examined the mediation effect of these two factors on the association between child poverty and maltreatment. In the Adachi Child Health Impact of Living Difficulty (A-CHILD) Study, a questionnaire was administered to all caregivers of first-grade children in every public elementary school in Adachi City between July and November 2015, and valid responses were used for analysis (N = 3944). Logistic and Poisson regression analyses were employed to examine the association between child poverty and maltreatment. Child poverty was defined in this study as meeting one of these criteria: 1) household income less than 3 million yen; 2) deprivation of specific material items that children or the household requires, or 3) experience of being unable to pay for lifeline utilities. Child maltreatment (physical abuse, neglect, and psychological abuse) was answered by parents. We confirmed a robust association between child poverty and maltreatment. Mediation analysis indicated that parental psychological distress mediated more than 60% of the association between child poverty on physical abuse and psychological abuse, while individual-level social capital mediated only 10% of the association with any type of maltreatment. In addition, structural equation modeling analysis revealed that the association was mediated by both parental psychological distress and social capital simultaneously. The findings suggest that supporting parental psychological distress may be an effective intervention to remedy the negative impact of child poverty on maltreatment.
PMID: 30025304 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]