Multiple mediators of the relationships among maternal childhood abuse, intimate partner violence, and offspring psychopathology.J Interpers Violence. 2013 Sep; 28(14):2941-65.JI
The aim of the study was to examine whether maternal depression, mothers' and fathers' parenting, child physical punishment and negative life events (NLE) mediate the effect of maternal childhood abuse (CA), intimate partner violence (IPV) and cumulative violence (both CA and IPV) on Spanish children's and adolescents' psychopathology. Furthermore, multiple mediator models examine whether IPV mediates the effect of CA on the contextual and family factors mentioned above. Three hundred and eighteen Spanish outpatients aged 7 to 18 and their parents were assessed using a structured interview and other instruments for measuring the study variables. Structural equation models (SEMs) showed multiple pathways explaining psychopathological problems among offspring of mothers who suffered CA, IPV and both of these violent experiences. In particular, mothers' depression mediated the link between maternal CA, IPV, cumulative violence and children's externalizing, and total behavior problems. Child NLE was an important pathway between maternal CA and total behavior problems, as well as between cumulative violence and both externalizing and total problems. IPV contributed to explaining the link between maternal CA and contextual and family factors, such as child physical punishment and NLE, which were in turn, associated with children's behavior problems. Findings show the complex interconnections between different types of violence and their harmful effects on the mental health of women and their offspring, as well as the need to extend our knowledge on this subject.