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Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 197–209 | Cite as

Witnessing spouse abuse and experiencing physical abuse: A “double whammy”?

  • Honore M. Hughes
  • Donna Parkinson
  • Michael Vargo
Article

Abstract

Child witnesses to parental violence, both abused (N =40) and nonabused (N =44), who were temporarily residing in a battered women's shelter were compared with children from a similar economic background (N =66) on measures of anxiety, depression, and behavior problems. Mothers of the three groups of children (comparison, witness, abused/witness) across the age range from 4 to 12 years completed a behavior problem inventory; the youngsters responded to paper-and-pencil self-report measures. Results indicated that the abused/witness children were manifesting significantly more distress on the behavior problem measure than the comparison youngsters, with the witness children showing a moderate amount and the comparison children the least. However, these patterns were mediated by the age of the child. Implications of these differential findings are discussed.

Key words

children of family violence child abuse family violence 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Honore M. Hughes
    • 1
  • Donna Parkinson
    • 1
  • Michael Vargo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ArkansasFayetteville

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