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Journal Article

Citation

Easterbrooks MA, Katz RC, Kotake C, Stelmach NP, Chaudhuri JH. J. Interpers. Violence 2018; 33(7): 1192-1214.

Affiliation

Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2018, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/0886260515614562

PMID

26598291

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is prevalent in families with young children and challenges their healthy development. This study examined characteristics of IPV (e.g., mother- vs. partner-perpetrated, types and severity) and investigated potential effects of IPV on toddlers' behavioral regulation in a sample of families at risk for IPV. We also examined whether maternal depression and child-rearing attitudes and behavior would moderate IPV-child behavior links. These questions were addressed in a sample (N = 400) of first-time adolescent mothers and their toddlers (1-2 years of age). Families were visited in their homes; data were collected via maternal report and observations. Partner- and self-perpetrated IPV was assessed using the Conflict Tactics Scale questionnaire; child behavior regulation was measured using the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment questionnaire. Approximately 80% of families experienced psychological aggression; almost one third reported physical assault in the past year. Both physical and psychological IPV were associated with greater toddler behavior problems. Neither maternal depression, mothers' attitudes about corporal punishment, nor nonhostile interaction moderated IPV-behavior problem links, though mothers' reports of maltreating behavior did. Among children whose mothers did not use corporal punishment/physical violence, IPV did not differentially affect behavior problems. Children whose mothers used corporal punishment/physical violence with them showed behavior problems in the context of IPV (severe psychological aggression).

RESULTS underscore the importance of exposure to IPV during the first year of life, and the prevalence of IPV perpetrated by both mothers and their partners in families with adolescent mothers.


Language: en

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