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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202079 Find in a Library
Title: Domestic Violence and Children's Behavior in Low-Income Families (From The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Children, P 75-101, 2003, Robert A. Geffner, Robyn S. Igelman, and Jennifer Zellner, eds. -- See NCJ-202075)
Author(s): Ariel Kalil; Richard Tolman; Daniel Rosen; Gabrielle Gruber
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
Sale Source: Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study obtained data from a representative sample (n=443) of mothers with preschool and school-age children who were randomly selected from the welfare caseload in one urban Michigan county in order to examine how mothers' experiences of severe physical abuse by an intimate partner related to maternal reports of children's internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems.
Abstract: All of the mothers included in the study had at least one child between the ages of 2 and 10. The average child's age was 5.45. Domestic violence was measured by items drawn from the Conflict Tactics Scale, a widely used measure of family violence. Maternal psychological characteristics were assessed with diagnostic screening batteries, and mothers' mastery was assessed with the Pearlin Mastery Scale. The Parenting Stress Scale measured the degree of stress or irritation the mother perceived in relation to her interactions with her child. A measure of maternal emotional warmth captured the extent to which mothers praised their children, did something special with them, and engaged in various recreational activities with them. Maternal punitive discipline was measured by determining the extent to which they reported yelling, threatening to spank, and spanking their children as a means of discipline. Children's adjustment was assessed with maternal reports of children's behavior. The study found that mothers who experienced domestic violence did not differ from other mothers in a welfare caseload sample in their punitive discipline or emotional warmth toward their children; however, they did experience more parenting stress and had higher rates of mental health and substance abuse disorders. After controlling for an array of demographic characteristics, study findings indicate that children of abused mothers displayed significantly higher levels of externalizing, but not internalizing, behavioral problems. The association between domestic violence and children's externalizing behaviors was only partially mediated by maternal psychological characteristics. 5 tables and 51 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Acting out behavior; Behavior under stress; Child development; Child emotional abuse and neglect; Domestic assault; Indigents; Michigan; Problem behavior
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