How are parental functioning and single parenthood associated with court outcomes?

  • Impaired parental functioning and single parenthood are considered risk factors for child maltreatment and being involved in the child protection context. Past research has shown that an impaired mental functioning and being a single parent are indicators of limited parenting resources. These risk factors are likely to be considered by family judges, which might lead to more intrusive court decisions concerning parental custody. To date, court data have rarely been investigated. The present study examined parental mental health and single parenthood using data from family law proceedings. The role of the fathers has been understudied and the few existing studies yielded contradictory results with respect to fathers’ involvement as risk or protective factor. Therefore, the study included both fathers’ data and mothers’ data. A total of 220 child protection court files with 343 affected children were coded using a category system. Parental mental health was coded as parental functioning in daily life and was significantly associatedImpaired parental functioning and single parenthood are considered risk factors for child maltreatment and being involved in the child protection context. Past research has shown that an impaired mental functioning and being a single parent are indicators of limited parenting resources. These risk factors are likely to be considered by family judges, which might lead to more intrusive court decisions concerning parental custody. To date, court data have rarely been investigated. The present study examined parental mental health and single parenthood using data from family law proceedings. The role of the fathers has been understudied and the few existing studies yielded contradictory results with respect to fathers’ involvement as risk or protective factor. Therefore, the study included both fathers’ data and mothers’ data. A total of 220 child protection court files with 343 affected children were coded using a category system. Parental mental health was coded as parental functioning in daily life and was significantly associated with the court outcome. Multilevel mediation analyses showed a significant indirect effect of maternal functioning on the intrusiveness of the court decisions via child maltreatment. Single motherhood moderated the effect: The indirect effect was more pronounced for single mothers. This study contributes to a better understanding of the population getting before court and the judicial process. Psychological attributes do play a role in the decision-making of judges; and taking the role of the fathers into account is necessary.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Nicole KratkyORCiD, Michela Schröder-AbéGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.07.015
ISSN:0145-2134
ISSN:1873-7757
Pubmed ID:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=30075365
Title of parent work (English):Child Abuse & Neglect
Subtitle (English):an analysis of child protection cases
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publishing:Oxford
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2018/07/31
Completion year:2018
Release date:2021/09/14
Tag:Child maltreatment; Child protection; Court; Parental mental health; Single parenthood
Volume:84
Number of pages:11
First page:95
Last Page:105
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Psychologie
DDC classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Peer review:Referiert