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Influence of form and timing of social support on parental outcomes of a child-maltreatment prevention program


  • Byrne, Sonia
  • Rodrigo, María José
  • Martín, Juan Carlos


This study examines how the form of social support (informal or formal) and the time frame at which it is provided (at the start or end of the program) influence parental outcomes on the “Apoyo Personal y Familiar” (APF) program for at-risk families showing inadequate child-rearing practices. A total of 496 parents participated, 247 parents referred by the municipal social services in the Autonomous Community of Castile and Leon (Spain), and 249 non-referred parents. Initial and final levels of use of and satisfaction with informal and formal support were used as predictors of change scores in self-rating measures of beliefs about child development, perceptions of the parental role and child-rearing practices, applying hierarchical linear regression analyses. Perceived use of and satisfaction with support explained around 22% to 49% of the change scores in the Nurturist belief as a simple view of child development, Couple agreement on educational matters, Permissive–neglectful practices and Coercion practices, after accounting for the variance due to risk status, financial situation and family structure variables. Informal support always has a positive impact irrespective of when the help is provided, whereas formal support only has a positive impact when applied at the start of the program. The adequate provision of social supports can be an efficient way to prevent child maltreatment by promoting changes in parental beliefs and practices related to at-risk parenting.

Suggested Citation

  • Byrne, Sonia & Rodrigo, María José & Martín, Juan Carlos, 2012. "Influence of form and timing of social support on parental outcomes of a child-maltreatment prevention program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2495-2503.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:34:y:2012:i:12:p:2495-2503
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.09.016

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rodrigo, Maria Jose & Martin, Juan Carlos & Maiquez, Maria Luisa & Rodriguez, Guacimara, 2007. "Informal and formal supports and maternal child-rearing practices in at-risk and non at-risk psychosocial contexts," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 329-347, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balsells, Maria Àngels & Pastor, Crescencia & Mateos, Ainoa & Vaquero, Eduard & Urrea, Aida, 2015. "Exploring the needs of parents for achieving reunification: The views of foster children, birth family and social workers in Spain," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 159-166.
    2. Rajendran, Khushmand & Smith, Brenda D. & Videka, Lynn, 2015. "Association of caregiver social support with the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in child welfare," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 150-158.


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