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Análise Psicológica

Print version ISSN 0870-8231

Aná. Psicológica vol.25 no.2 Lisboa Apr. 2007


Relações familiares e práticas maternas de mau trato e de negligência


Maria Manuela Calheiros (*)

Maria Benedicta Monteiro (*)




Neste artigo analisam-se os efeitos directos de um conjunto de factores exo-sistémicos da família e os efeitos de mediação da violência, coesão e conflito familiar nas práticas maternas abusivas.

102 mães, seleccionadas através do Questionário de Avaliação do Mau Trato e Negligência, responderam a um conjunto de questões sobre a percepção de ambiente familiar (coesão e conflito) e acontecimentos de vida.

Os resultados indicam efeitos directos do nível socioeconómico na negligência e da estrutura familiar no mau trato. Os acontecimentos de vida negativos têm um efeito indirecto através da violência doméstica nas diferentes práticas abusivas. Os resultados indicam ainda que o conflito e a coesão, controlados os factores do exossistema, são pouco importantes na explicação das práticas abusivas.

A partir dos resultados são discutidas as implicações dos modelos de mediação na compreensão das práticas abusivas, assim como os programas de intervenção com mães que experienciam stress em diferentes domínios de vida familiar.

Palavras-chave: Factores exo-sistémicos, violência familiar, coesão, conflito, mau trato e negligência.



This paper analyses the direct effects of family structure, socio-economic level and negative life events and the mediating role of family violence, cohesion and conflict in mothers’ maltreatment and neglect.

One hundred maltreating and negligent mothers participated in this study. The mothers were selected by the scores obtained in a questionnaire evaluating maltreatment and neglect; this was completed by technicians from CPM (Minors’ Protection Commission) who also assessed the families’ socio-demographic characteristics, and domestic violence. Data collection tools were based on both child-care files and empirical knowledge regarding the child/ family.

Both the data about negative life events and family perceptions (cohesion and conflict) was collected in a semi-structured interview with the mothers.

A multiple regression analysis indicated the direct effect of socio-economic level on neglect and also of family structure on maltreatment. The results also pointed out that domestic violence mediated the relationship between the negative life events and maltreatment and neglect. Furthermore it was found that, after controlling the exo-systemic factors, cohesion and conflict were not relevant to understand abusive practices.

The study will contribute to the discussion about the implications of mediating models to understand mal-treatment and neglect and also provide the direction for multi-systemic and preventive intervention programs with mothers who experience stress in different domains of family life.

Key words: Exo-systemic factors, family violence, cohesion, conflict, maltreatment and neglect.



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(*) Centro de Investigação e de Intervenção Social e Departamento de Psicologia Social do Instituto Superior das Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa.

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