Present review examined research contributions employing Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI; Milner, 1986), in order to support its validity in predicting child abuse potential. These studies showed that high CAPI Abuse Scale scores had significant relationships with factors described in literature as distinct features of maltreating parents and predictive of child abuse. In particular these factors have been associated with history of childhood abuse; low self-esteem; external locus of control; parenting stress; anxiety; anger and frustration; depression; troubles in family environment (conflicts, younger and less educated mothers and substance abuse). Such a framework allows to state that parents with high CAPI Abuse Scale scores are actually prone to apply harsh and severe discipline, that may lead to child physical abuse.
Keywords: Child maltreatment, risk assessment, potential risk of child abuse, Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI)