Social Cognition, Child Neglect, and Child Injury Risk: The Contribution of Maternal Social Information Processing to Maladaptive Injury Prevention Beliefs Within a High-Risk Sample

Sandra T. Azar, Elizabeth A. Miller, Michael T. Stevenson, David R. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-767
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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