Primary Submission Contact

Lydia Seifner

Faculty Sponsor

Amanda Zelechoski

Faculty Sponsor Email Address




JD/MA Psychology

Document Type

Oral Presentation


Spring 4-30-2015


The majority of parents in the United States engage in "good enough" parenting, which allows children to develop into functional and well-adjusted adults. However, as the Juvenile court system knows well, some parent's do not engage in "good enough" parenting; some parents are very abusive or neglectful in their parenting styles. In 2012, and estimated 686,000 children were victims of child maltreatment. Can child abuse be prevented? Yes, it can. There is a strong correlation between an individual's personality make up and the way they parent. Additionally, personality follows a predictable maturation trend and significant deficits within an individual's personality will remain relatively constant unto that individual as he or she ages, if steps are not taken to intentionally alter those deficits. This indicates that a person's ability to parent, and his or her likelihood of being a "good enough" or neglectful and abusive parent can be determined long before a person even has children, such as in late adolescence. This researcher sought to determine if the Five-Factor Personality module could be used to screen for individuals at risk of engaging in child maltreatment during late adolescence to prevent future child abuse and neglect.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

My aunt adopted six children from the foster care system; it sparked my early interest in the causes of child maltreatment. I received my B.A. in psychology from Drury University in Springfield MO, before coming to Valparaiso. At VU I have pursued a dual degree, JD/MA in psychology so to best equip myself for work in the Juvenile Court system; I hope one day to help our society put an end to child maltreatment.