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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202085 Find in a Library
Title: Examination of Children Exposed to Marital Violence Accessing a Treatment Intervention (From The Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on Children, P 227-252, 2003, Robert A. Geffner, Robyn S. Igelman, and Jennifer Zellner, eds. -- See NCJ-202075)
Author(s): Karen M. MacMillan; Lisa L. Harpur
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 26
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: Program/Project Description
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper describes and reports on the evaluation of an intervention program for children exposed to marital violence; one of their parents attended a corresponding parenting group.
Abstract: The programs were developed by staff at the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Center and by Sheriff King Home in Calgary (Canada). The children's program focused on creating a safe and trusting therapeutic environment in which the children could express their thoughts and feelings and share their experiences. The program also provided information to the children about appropriate identification and expression of feelings; safety planning; problem solving; and education regarding definitions of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. Children were also taught relaxation exercises and encouraged to use them as needed. Each of the 10 sessions was based on a particular theme. The parenting program focused on relationship-building between the parent and child and the promotion of positive discipline practices. A total of 47 children, ages 6-12 years, and at least 1 of their parents participated in the 10-week program. Measures of behavior, emotions, and attitudes were administered prior to the beginning of the programs and again in the ninth week of the interventions. Children completed self-report measures of anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress and associated symptoms, and knowledge of abuse and safety planning. Parents reported on their perceptions of child competence and behavioral problems, as well as their own experience of stress. The results of the testing show elevated rates of clinical scores on several measures after participating in the program. Parental stress correlated significantly with reported child behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. The second assessment showed significant changes in ratings of the children's behavior problems, parental stress, and child knowledge. These findings suggest that interventions with children and parents involved in marital conflicts can reduce associated behavioral problems of the children, reduce the parental stress, and improve parent-child interactions, such that many of the negative developmental outcomes associated with a child's witnessing of marital conflict and violence can be prevented and/or mitigated. 6 tables and 43 references
Main Term(s): Parent-Child Relations
Index Term(s): Canada; Child abuse treatment; Child development; Child emotional abuse and neglect; Domestic assault; Family intervention programs; Treatment effectiveness; Treatment techniques
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