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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202366 Find in a Library
Title: Moderating Role of Parental Warmth on the Effects of Exposure to Family Violence
Journal: Violence and Victims  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:353-367
Author(s): Felicity W. K. Harper; Ileana Arias; Amy S. House
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document examines two possible roles of parental warmth.
Abstract: The first role suggests that parental warmth may buffer individuals against the effects of exposure to parental violence. In such a buffering model, parental warmth should be positively related to self-esteem and secure attachment in both victims and nonvictims of family violence. The second role is that parental warmth in the context of family violence results in inconsistent parent behavior, which is presumed to be harmful to the individual. Parental warmth in this context would fail to have a beneficial impact on self-esteem and attachment. This study sought to clarify the effects of parental warmth for those that have witnessed physical violence without being victims of violence themselves. The individual impact of mother versus father warmth was examined. It was expected that maternal warmth would provide more benefit to individuals than father warmth. Participants were 376 undergraduate students recruited from introductory psychology courses at a large Southeastern university. Participants were recruited in groups to complete a questionnaire packet that included demographic information and the following instruments: Conflict Tactics Scale, Self-Report Attachment Style Prototypes Scale, Parental Caregiving Style Questionnaire, and Self-Esteem Inventory. The results show that parental warmth had a moderating effect on the relationship between family violence and self-esteem and attachment, although as expected, the effects of parental warmth varied depending on the type of violence exposure and the source of the warmth. High parental warmth contributed to positive outcomes in nonviolent families. In the context of combined witnessing and victimization, high parental warmth provided little benefit. High warmth was associated with a lower likelihood of secure attachment and lower self-esteem. Higher warmth showed no significant difference in outcomes over lower parental warmth in the context of this violence. Levels of self-esteem and secure attachment were similar regardless of whether the individual experienced high or low parental warmth. These findings were in line with the inconsistency model, suggesting that possible negative outcomes result from the inconsistency of parent violence in the context of parent warmth. 3 figures, 4 tables, 1 note, 52 references
Main Term(s): Domestic assault; Home environment
Index Term(s): Domestic relations; Environmental influences; Family offenses; Juvenile delinquent family relations; Parent-Child Relations; Parental attitudes
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