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Consequences of Childhood Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
149 pages
This report presents research findings on the consequences of exposure to intimate partner violence on children.

The findings indicate that intimate partner violence has a significant and negative effect on externalizing child behavior, internalizing child behavior, general behavior problems, and drinking among children. The author also examined whether any of the theories that explained deviance, development, and stress could account for the effects of intimate partner violence on child externalizing, internalizing, and total behavior problems, as well as on alcohol consumption patterns. It was found that anxiety and the parent-child relationship partially mediated the effects of partner violence on child externalizing behavior. The impact of anxiety on externalizing behaviors should be taken into consideration by policymakers and clinicians when dealing with the aftermath of intimate partner violence exposure on children. Research suggests that individual treatment for children exposed to intimate partner violence may reduce stress and, in turn, some of the problem behaviors. Data were drawn from the first 2 time periods of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, a longitudinal study of crime, delinquency, substance abuse, and violence that included a representative random probability sample of 6,228 children and their primary caregivers. The sample was drawn from a 3-stage cross-sectional stratified cluster sample of 80 Chicago neighborhoods. The data provide information on family structure, parent-child relationships, parent discipline styles, family mental health, and family history of crime and drug use. Data analysis involved the use of logistic regression and both ordinal and multinomial logits (Chapter 5 discusses in detail the effect of using data augmentation algorithms on the means, standard errors, and relationships among the variables under examination). Future studies should focus on the cost effectiveness of treatment for anxiety for children who have been exposed to intimate partner violence or child abuse. Footnotes, tables, appendixes, bibliography, references

Date Published: January 1, 2006