Family Conflict and Resilience in Parenting Self-Efficacy Among High-Risk Mothers

Julie F.H. Cassé, Catrin Finkenauer, Mirjam Oosterman, Victor R. van der Geest, Carlo Schuengel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Mothers with a history of institutional care in adolescence are often involved in high-conflict partner relationships, which may undermine relationships with children and confidence in oneself as a parent. Not all mothers think of themselves as bad parents under these circumstances. We turned to psychological resources as an explanation, focusing on mothers’ trait self-control. The negative association between family conflict and parenting self-efficacy was tested for moderation by self-control among 104 mothers with a history of institutionalization for behavioral problems and delinquency during adolescence. We found a negative association between current family conflict and parenting self-efficacy among mothers with low self-control, and no significant association among mothers with high self-control. This study draws attention to the needs of high-risk mothers in their parenting role and demonstrates that self-control is a potential resource for mothers to balance the load presented by conflict in their families. The findings suggest new avenues for intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1029
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • anything related to domestic violence
  • intergenerational transmission of trauma
  • mental health and violence
  • violence exposure


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