Date of Graduation

8-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Psychological Science

Advisor

Patricia Petretic

Committee Member

Ana Bridges

Second Committee Member

Ellen Leen-Feldner

Keywords

Psychology; Caregiving; PTSD; Trauma

Abstract

Disorganized caregiving has been associated with both maternal childhood history and current experiences of trauma. However, the methods by which disorganized caregiving has been studied have been time intensive and costly. The current study aimed to extend previous research with the Caregiving Helplessness Questionnaire (CHQ; George & Solomon, 2011), which is a self-report measure designed to assess aspects of disorganized caregiving such as caregiving helplessness, role reversal, and frightened/frightening caregiving experiences. Participants (N = 156) were a community sample of mothers of children ages 5 to 10 who were primarily white and who reported a range of traumatic experiences. It was hypothesized that: 1) the factor structure (i.e. five factors) of the CHQ validation study would be reproduced with this sample; 2) the CHQ would demonstrate convergent and divergent validity, and 3) maternal history of child maltreatment would have a unique contribution to caregiving helplessness when controlling for salient demographic (e.g. economic hardship, young maternal age) and current risk (e.g. intimate partner violence, depression, and current trauma symptoms) factors. Factor analytic, correlation, and multiple regression analyses are presented. Factor analytic findings indicated a four factor structure that was similar to the original CHQ subscales. The CHQ demonstrated moderate convergent (e.g., associations with parental stress) and divergent validity (e.g. no association with life stress). The CHQ was weakly associated with childhood maltreatment experiences, and in regression analyses, history of child maltreatment was not significant when accounting for covariates (i.e., economic hardship, intimate partner violence, depression, and current trauma symptoms).

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