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Parent-Child Aggression, Adult-Partner Violence, and Child Outcomes: A Prospective, Population-based Study

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect . Volume: 68 Dated: June 2017 Pages: 1-10
Date Published
June 2017
10 pages
This study analyzed data on 2,810 children from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods.
Parent-child physical aggression (PCPA) and adult intimate partner violence (IPV) are common forms of family violence that often co-occur. Their deleterious effects on children and adolescents have been well documented; however, important questions remain regarding whether the type of violence exposure, the experience of one or both forms, the chronicity of violent experiences, and the age, gender, and SES of the child, differentially influence developmental outcomes. The current study focused on these issues. Children ages 3-9 at the outset of the study were assessed three times, at 3-year intervals. Primary caregivers reported on IPV, PCPA, and children's externalizing and internalizing symptoms. Children's externalizing and internalizing symptoms were examined as a function of time, age, gender, socioeconomic status (SES), and the time-varying effects of cumulative IPV and PCPA exposure. Cumulative experiences of IPV and PCPA each adversely affected the developmental trajectories of both externalizing and internalizing symptoms, but in different ways; and they did so independently of participants' age, gender, or SES, which all functioned as significant, independent predictors of child outcomes. PCPA was by far the more potent of the two forms of violence; and when both forms occurred, they worked additively to affect outcomes. Important questions remain regarding the reasons for the differential potency of these two forms of family violence on childhood symptoms, along with related implications for interventions and for later adult behavior. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: June 1, 2017