Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 243–251 | Cite as

Parenting Stress, Parenting Behavior, and Children’s Adjustment in Families Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence

  • Alissa C. Huth-BocksEmail author
  • Honore M. Hughes
Original Article


Children exposed to intimate partner violence are known to experience a number of negative outcomes, including behavioral and emotional problems; however, possible mechanisms accounting for this relationship are unclear. There is considerable evidence that parenting stress has a direct effect on child adjustment problems and on parenting behaviors; parenting behaviors, in turn, have been repeatedly shown to be related to child outcomes. The hypothesis that parenting mediates the relationship between parenting stress and child behavioral and emotional problems according to Abidin’s (Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 21:407–412, 1992) model was tested in a sample of 190 battered women and their 4-to12-year-old children. No support for mediation was found for either mother- or child-reported outcomes. Parenting stress had a strong direct effect on child behavioral and emotional problems. These findings have implications for the viability of Abidin’s model, as well as for interventions with battered women that address parenting stress.


Intimate partner violence Parenting stress Parenting Children’s adjustment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySaint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA

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