Hope and perceptions of parental role among parents assessed as maltreating their children

Reut Aram-Fichman, Bilha Davidson-Arad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study is anchored in the view that hope is a resource that fosters better coping and parenting. It examines the self-perceived hope and parental role of parents whom the welfare services in Israel have assessed as maltreating their children. The parents were recruited in 2010 through facilities for maltreated children. The study sample consisted of 262 parents (68.4% response rate), divided into those who had at least one child removed from home and those whose children were all at home. Both groups of parents reported moderately high basic and family hope and sense of pathways and agency, and moderate perceived parental role, with no significant group differences. Differences were found, however, in the role of hope in mediating between parents’ sociodemographic features and their perceived parental role. The mediation was more substantial among the parents whose children were at home and differed in content. Only among parents whose children were at home did religiosity (β = 0.20, P < 0.05) and living with a partner (β = 0.18, P < 0.05) lead to greater hope, which increased the perceived parental role. Moreover, the findings underscore the lack of role of family hope and sense of agency among parents whose children were not at home. In both the groups, higher income led to greater hope (β = 0.18, P < 0.05 for at home; β = 0.16, P < 0.05 for in placement), which increased the self-perceived parental role but the mediation was effected differently. The findings suggest that professionals working with parents who maltreat their children can use the parents’ hope as a resource to help them improve their parenting, especially where the child was removed from home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-104
Number of pages13
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • basic hope
  • family hope
  • maltreating parents
  • perceptions of parental role


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