Objective Inadequate supervision has been linked to children's injuries. Parental injury prevention beliefs may play a role in supervision, yet little theory has examined the origins of such beliefs. This study examined whether mothers who perpetrated child neglect, who as a group provide inadequate supervision, have more maladaptive beliefs. Then, it tested a social information processing (SIP) model for explaining these beliefs. Methods SIP and injury prevention beliefs were assessed in disadvantaged mothers of preschoolers (N = 145), half with child neglect histories. Results The neglect group exhibited significantly more maladaptive injury prevention beliefs than comparisons. As predicted, SIP was linked to beliefs that may increase injury risk, even after accounting for relevant sociodemographic variables. Conclusions Findings support the link of beliefs to injury risk and suggest that specific cognitive problems may underlie these beliefs. Future work should further validate this model, which may inform enhancements to prevention efforts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology