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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202082 Find in a Library
Title: In Search of Protective Processes for Children Exposed to Interparental Violence (From The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Children, P 149-181, 2003, Robert A. Geffner, Robyn S. Igelman, and Jennifer Zellner, eds. -- See NCJ-202075)
Author(s): Patricia K. Kerig
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 33
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: Literature Review; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper integrates theory, research, and clinical work to develop an empirically informed and testable intervention model for children exposed to interparental violence.
Abstract: The literature reviewed for the development of the model was selected for its focus on risk and resilience in children exposed to interparental violence. Attention was given to the risk outcomes associated with exposure to violence, the mechanisms by which negative effects occurred, the protective processes that buffered children from risk, and the methods available for studying these processes. The proposed model developed not only from the literature review of empirical research but also from theory and clinical work emphasizing a multifaceted intervention. One facet of the intervention model is the preparation of children to engage in constructive coping strategies, such as going to a safe place, calling 911, or turning to a third party for assistance. Such "safety planning" is a consistent component of treatment for children exposed to violence. Children should also be instructed in ways to stay calm, quell their anxiety, and prevent themselves from being overwhelmed by distress. Emotion-focused coping called "emotion regulation" can be an important buffer against anxiety and perceived helplessness. The goal of emotion regulation is to help children calm themselves and reduce their feelings of distress. Positive appraisals of children for their use of effective coping strategies is also a means of buffering children from the stress of exposure to interparental conflict. This should include assuring children that they are not to blame for the problems between their parents. Given that self-esteem and perceived competence moderate the effects of exposure to violence, interventions should focus on helping children to recognize their own worth. Other components of the model involve the development of alternatives to violent behavior, the fostering of positive parent-child relationships with clear boundaries, and measures to reduce the likelihood of negative chain reactions between mothers and children. Interventions must be tailored to developmental differences due to a child's age and gender. Overall, the model suggests that the most effective intervention must be multifaceted, multimodal, and multisystemic in order to address the needs of children and their mothers and to support the relationships between them. 6 tables and 32 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Child abuse treatment; Child development; Child emotional abuse and neglect; Domestic assault; Family intervention programs; Marital problems; Parent-Child Relations; Stress management
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