Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 171-192

First online:

Parenting in Battered Women: The Effects of Domestic Violence on Women and Their Children

  • Alytia A. LevendoskyAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Michigan State University Email author 
  • , Sandra A. Graham-BermannAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Michigan

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This study integrates an ecological perspective and trauma theory in proposing a model of the effects of domestic violence on women's parenting and children's adjustment. One hundred and twenty women and their children between the ages of 7 and 12 participated. Results supported an ecological model of the impact of domestic violence on women and children. The model predicted 40% of the variance in children's adjustment, 8% of parenting style, 43% of maternal psychological functioning, and 23% of marital satisfaction, using environmental factors such as social support, negative life events, and maternal history of child abuse. Overall, results support the ecological framework and trauma theory in understanding the effects of domestic violence on women and children. Rather than focusing on internal pathology, behavior is seen to exist on a continuum influenced heavily by the context in which the person is developing.

domestic violence child abuse battered women parenting children