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Female Caregivers' Experiences with Intimate Partner Violence and Behavior Problems in Children Investigated as Victims of Maltreatment

NCJ Number
Pediatrics Volume: 117 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2006 Pages: 99-109
Date Published
January 2006
11 pages

This study investigated the relationship between maternal caregiver experiences with intimate partner violence and the externalizing and internalizing behavior problems of their children.


This study on the relationship between mother's experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) and their children's behavior problems found that of the demographic variables examined in the study, older age and male gender were both significant predictors of externalizing behavior problems, as were poor child health, caregiver history of arrest, caregiver substance dependence, prior reports of maltreatment, and caregiver victimization by severe IPV. For internalizing behavior problems, the study found that older age and poor child health were significant predictors, as was caregiver victimization by severe IPV. This study investigated whether a maternal caregiver's experiences of IPV affected the externalizing and internalizing behaviors of their children, and whether these effects were moderated by caregiver depression and parenting practices. Data for the study were obtained from a sample of families drawn from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well Being, a national study that targets families with children who are the subjects of child abuse and neglect investigations conducted by child protective services agencies. The study obtained measures for child problem behaviors, child health, child maltreatment, community environment, demographic information, female caregiver history of arrest, female caregiver depression and substance dependence, female caregiver parenting practices, and female caregiver's experiences with IPV. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to predict externalizing and internalizing behavior problems in the children. The findings from the analyses suggest that women's victimization by severe forms of IPV is associated with children's externalizing and internalizing behavior problems. The findings also indicate that the level of severity of IPV is an influential factor in predicting child behavior, as were female caregiver substance use and arrest. Study limitations are discussed. Tables and references

Date Published: January 1, 2006