Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

JoNell Strough.


The main purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of caregiver behavioral versus demographic factors to the prediction of a child burn injury and caregiver safety behavior using a sample of primary caregivers of children (aged 0--5 years) with a burn injury (case participants) or without one (comparison participants). Case participants (n = 30) were recruited from a burn center in the Northeastern United States, whereas comparison participants (n = 30) were recruited from pediatric facilities, balanced to cases by child age, gender, race, and geography, and caregiver socioeconomic and marital status. Measures of demographic and burn information, caregiver psychopathology, parenting stress, and caregiver home safety knowledge and behavior were completed as close to the time of enrollment as possible, with safety knowledge and behavior obtained by home interviews and observation. Burns (50% scalds) were mostly second and third degree, with their total body surface area ranging from 1--29%. Findings revealed significantly greater safety knowledge among comparison versus case participants, with caregiver safety knowledge the only factor significantly related to child burn outcome. In hierarchical regression analyses predicting caregiver safety behaviors, safety knowledge was a significant predictor of supervision, above and beyond other predictors, and parenting stress and certain demographic variables together accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in home safety. These findings suggest that parental behavioral factors may improve the prediction of early childhood burns and caregiver safety behavior over that afforded by demographic variables alone. Limitations and implications for prevention are discussed.