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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200698 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Family Violence on Child Behavior and Health During Early Childhood
Journal: Family Violence  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:February 2003  Pages:43-57
Author(s): Diana J. English; David B. Marshall; Angela J. Stewart
Date Published: February 2003
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a sample of families in which children had been abused/neglected, this study analyzed measures of child behavior and health to determine whether they tended to be worse when domestic violence is or had been present in the family.
Abstract: Subjects for this study are a subset of the participants in the LONGSCAN consortium of longitudinal studies designed to examine the antecedents and consequences of child maltreatment. The subjects for the current study were children in the Northwest LONGSCAN sample, a cohort of 261 children referred to Child Protective Services for abuse/neglect; the children may or may not have been substantiated for maltreatment at the time of recruitment into this study; however, all children in the sample were assessed by child protective intake staff as moderately or highly likely to be maltreated in the future, absent intervention. Data for this study were obtained from interviews with the primary caregiver and child when the child was 4 and 6 years old, a review and abstraction of Child Protective Services case files, and teacher reports on child behavior. The two key dependent variables were the child's behavior and health. Various sources of data were combined to create several composite variables with which to indicate past and/or present domestic violence in a family, with domestic violence being the primary independent variable. Caregiver and family characteristics as well as other case factors were examined as possible moderators or mediators of the effects of domestic violence on child abuse/neglect. Findings indicate that domestic violence of the type and severity that occurred in the study sample, did not have a direct effect on child outcomes by age 6, when other associated variables were taken into account. There were significant indirect effects, however. There was a pronounced impact of domestic violence on family functioning, the caregiver's general health and well-being, and the quality of the caregiver's interaction with the child. These factors were in turn significantly associated with impaired child functioning manifested in behavior problems and health. Some implications of this study for research in domestic violence and child maltreatment are discussed. 4 tables and 72 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Acting out behavior; Behavior patterns; Domestic assault; Long term health effects of child abuse; Longitudinal studies
Note: For other documents in this series, see, NCJ-200694-97 and NCJ-200699.
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