Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)


School of Social Work

Degree Name



School of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Naomi T. Ward


The objective of this study was to establish the presence of a relationship between stress factors and the incidence of child abuse. The study was secondary analysis of descriptive statistics provided by the Georgia Department of Human Resources and the u.s. Department of Commerce. The sample consisted of seven-hundred, fifty identified Black perpetrators of child abuse and it was drawn from Fulton and DeKalb counties, State of Georgia.

The null hypothesis presented in this study was that poverty was the best predictor of child abuse in Black families. The null hypothesis was rejected based on the fact that over 50% of the sample population was identified as being poor according to the national poverty line, which made poverty a negligible factor .

The factors that are significant predictors of child abuse in Fulton and DeKalb counties, State of Georgia, in ranked order, are: l) marital status and 2) education.

The study was designed to determine if there was a relationship between the incidence of child abuse in Black families and stress factors.