Journal of Family Violence

, 24:433 | Cite as

Family Variables that Mediate the Relation Between Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Child Adjustment

  • Ashley E. Owen
  • Martie P. Thompson
  • Anne Shaffer
  • Emily B. Jackson
  • Nadine J. KaslowEmail author
Original Article


This study examined the mediating roles of several family variables in the relation between IPV witnessing and children’s emotional and behavioral problems among 129 low-income, African American children ages 8 to 12. According to the mediational model tested, experiencing or witnessing IPV negatively impacted the following family variables: maternal psychopathology, family cohesion, and relatedness quality, which were subsequently associated with diminished child adjustment. These findings were stronger when child reports were considered and when the outcome variable was internalizing problems. Findings from this study support the value of targeting these variables in the development of culturally appropriate child witness interventions for low-income African American families. Recommendations for future interventions based on study conclusions are offered.


Intimate partner violence Child adjustment African American families 



These data are drawn from a study funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (grant number #R49/CCR419767-0) entitled “Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment in Black Families” that was awarded to the last author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashley E. Owen
    • 1
  • Martie P. Thompson
    • 2
  • Anne Shaffer
    • 3
  • Emily B. Jackson
    • 4
  • Nadine J. Kaslow
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Family and Preventive MedicineEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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