Psychological Distress of Children and Mothers in Domestic Violence Emergency Shelters
- Cite this article as:
- Jarvis, K.L., Gordon, E.E. & Novaco, R.W. J Fam Viol (2005) 20: 389. doi:10.1007/s10896-005-7800-1
Abused mothers and their school-aged children who recently entered domestic violence emergency shelters were assessed by individual interview and psychometric measures. Children had positiveviews of the shelter residence. Mothers and children reported high-quality relationships with eachother. Children came from highly violent homes, and the majority had attempted to intervene in theinteradult violence. Hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted on child PTSD symptoms, child behavior problems, and maternal depression, anxiety, and anger. Child PTSD symptoms were associated with amount of physical violence. Child behavioral problems were related to mother anxiety andanger. The predictors of maternal emotional distress varied. Depression was associated with sexualabuse, child physical intervention, and quality of mother–child relationship; anxiety was related to witnessing child abuse, child age, and child internalizing behaviors; anger was associated with abuse-related injuries, violence frequency, and child internalizing behaviors. Augmentationof shelter-based interventions for children's trauma, maternal emotional distress, and parenting are discussed.