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Child Abuse Negl. 1993 Nov-Dec;17(6):715-29.

The Psychological Maltreatment Rating Scales.

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  • 1School and Counseling Psychology Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.


Psychological maltreatment is gaining recognition as one of the core concepts in child welfare, however, its utility has been limited by definitional problems and the absence of operationalized and validated instruments. These Psychological Maltreatment Rating Scales (PMRS) were developed for assessing psychological maltreatment in mother-child interaction, and were used to rate the videotaped interaction of 49 high-risk mother-child dyads and make predictions of child protective service involvement with the dyads. These predictions are compared with predictions based upon mothers' personal resources and social support. Results show that the PMRS is a moderately reliable and valid measure of psychologically maltreating and prosocial parental behavior that can discriminate between maltreating and comparison parents, and is a more effective predictor than maternal measures. Three factors of parenting emerged from an exploratory factor analysis: emotional abuse, and two factors of positive parenting. Psychological abuse was the presence of hostile behavior, and psychological neglect the absence of positive parenting.

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