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Aggressive behavior of children exposed to intimate partner violence: an examination of maternal mental health, maternal warmth and child maltreatment.
Child Abuse Negl. 2013 Aug; 37(8):520-30.CA

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Over 4.5 million children each year are exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Furthermore, IPV rarely occurs without other forms of violence and aggression in the home. IPV is associated with mental health and parenting problems in mothers, and children experience a wide variety of short-term social adjustment and emotional difficulties, including behavioral problems. The current study investigated the influence of IPV exposure on children's aggressive behavior, and tested if this relation was mediated by poor maternal mental health, and, in turn, by maternal warmth and child maltreatment, and moderated by children's age and gender. Study findings highlight the indirect consequences of IPV in the home on children's aggressive behavior.

METHODS

Secondary data analysis using structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted with the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW). Children were between the ages of 3-8 (n = 1,161). Mothers reported past year frequency of phsycial assualt by their partner, frequency of child psychological and physical abuse, maternal mental health, and children's aggressive behavior problems. Maternal warmth was measured by observation.

RESULTS

IPV was significantly related to poor maternal mental health. Poor maternal mental health was associated with more child aggressive behavior, lower maternal warmth, and more frequent child physical and psychological abuse. Psychological abuse and low maternal warmth were directly related to more aggressive behavior while IPV exposure and physical abuse were not directly associated with aggressive behavior. Neither age nor gender moderated the modeled paths.

CONCLUSIONS

Expanding knowledge about child outcomes is especially critical for children who were involved in investigations of child maltreatment by child protective services (CPS) in order to identify relevant risk factors that can lead to interventions. The results identified maternal mental health as an important variable in mediating the relationship between IPV exposure and aggressive behavior. One implication is for multicomponent family interventions that could be tailored toward helping the mother cope with such mental health issues while also addressing deficits in children's social behavior development.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7164, USA.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23332295

Citation

Holmes, Megan R.. "Aggressive Behavior of Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: an Examination of Maternal Mental Health, Maternal Warmth and Child Maltreatment." Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 37, no. 8, 2013, pp. 520-30.
Holmes MR. Aggressive behavior of children exposed to intimate partner violence: an examination of maternal mental health, maternal warmth and child maltreatment. Child Abuse Negl. 2013;37(8):520-30.
Holmes, M. R. (2013). Aggressive behavior of children exposed to intimate partner violence: an examination of maternal mental health, maternal warmth and child maltreatment. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37(8), 520-30. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2012.12.006
Holmes MR. Aggressive Behavior of Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: an Examination of Maternal Mental Health, Maternal Warmth and Child Maltreatment. Child Abuse Negl. 2013;37(8):520-30. PubMed PMID: 23332295.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Aggressive behavior of children exposed to intimate partner violence: an examination of maternal mental health, maternal warmth and child maltreatment. A1 - Holmes,Megan R, Y1 - 2013/01/14/ PY - 2011/08/06/received PY - 2012/12/03/revised PY - 2012/12/10/accepted PY - 2013/1/22/entrez PY - 2013/1/22/pubmed PY - 2014/7/18/medline KW - Aggressive behavior KW - Child maltreatment KW - Domestic violence exposure KW - Intimate partner violence exposure KW - Maternal mental health KW - Maternal warmth SP - 520 EP - 30 JF - Child abuse & neglect JO - Child Abuse Negl VL - 37 IS - 8 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Over 4.5 million children each year are exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Furthermore, IPV rarely occurs without other forms of violence and aggression in the home. IPV is associated with mental health and parenting problems in mothers, and children experience a wide variety of short-term social adjustment and emotional difficulties, including behavioral problems. The current study investigated the influence of IPV exposure on children's aggressive behavior, and tested if this relation was mediated by poor maternal mental health, and, in turn, by maternal warmth and child maltreatment, and moderated by children's age and gender. Study findings highlight the indirect consequences of IPV in the home on children's aggressive behavior. METHODS: Secondary data analysis using structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted with the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW). Children were between the ages of 3-8 (n = 1,161). Mothers reported past year frequency of phsycial assualt by their partner, frequency of child psychological and physical abuse, maternal mental health, and children's aggressive behavior problems. Maternal warmth was measured by observation. RESULTS: IPV was significantly related to poor maternal mental health. Poor maternal mental health was associated with more child aggressive behavior, lower maternal warmth, and more frequent child physical and psychological abuse. Psychological abuse and low maternal warmth were directly related to more aggressive behavior while IPV exposure and physical abuse were not directly associated with aggressive behavior. Neither age nor gender moderated the modeled paths. CONCLUSIONS: Expanding knowledge about child outcomes is especially critical for children who were involved in investigations of child maltreatment by child protective services (CPS) in order to identify relevant risk factors that can lead to interventions. The results identified maternal mental health as an important variable in mediating the relationship between IPV exposure and aggressive behavior. One implication is for multicomponent family interventions that could be tailored toward helping the mother cope with such mental health issues while also addressing deficits in children's social behavior development. SN - 1873-7757 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23332295/Aggressive_behavior_of_children_exposed_to_intimate_partner_violence:_an_examination_of_maternal_mental_health_maternal_warmth_and_child_maltreatment_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0145-2134(12)00266-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -