Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Sapozhnikov, Brooklyn


Child maltreatment is prevalent despite extensive research informing interventions. While many risk factors have been identified, exploring additional determinants may improve existing methods or reveal better alternatives. This study’s basis was family systems theory, and it utilized the post-positivist paradigm to explore the topics of relationship fulfillment, sexual satisfaction, and parenting. Qualitative interviews with five heterosexual, cisgender parents born between 1971 and 1991 (average age 39-40) revealed four main themes: participants' childhood/parental relationships, history of abusive relationships, current sex life, and role balancing between relationships and parenting. Although limited by a small sample size and a specialized population (social work students at one university), the data suggests a potential link between sexual satisfaction and parenting style. This was particularly evident in unhealthy relationships as participants tended towards harsher discipline or overprotection. Quantitative analysis of larger and more diverse populations is necessary to determine this assumption’s validity.