Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 383–392 | Cite as

Traumatic Events and Maternal Education as Predictors of Verbal Ability for Preschool Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

  • Sandra A. Graham-Bermann
  • Kathryn H. Howell
  • Laura E. Miller
  • Jean Kwek
  • Michelle M. Lilly
Original Article

Abstract

Despite research on the effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) on children, little is known about its impact on cognitive development. In this study, 87 preschool-aged children and their mothers exposed to IPV within the last two years participated in interviews to ascertain verbal ability, history of violence, and exposure to trauma. When compared to a national sample of 1,700 same-age children not evaluated for exposure to traumatic events, children exposed to IPV scored significantly lower on verbal ability, as assessed with standardized measures. In order to understand variation in verbal ability, multiple regression models were tested. Both prior exposure to traumatic events and the level of mother’s education were significant predictors of verbal ability. However, level of education mediated the relationship between traumatic events and the child’s verbal ability.

Keywords

Preschool children Verbal ability Intimate partner violence Trauma 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra A. Graham-Bermann
    • 1
  • Kathryn H. Howell
    • 1
  • Laura E. Miller
    • 1
  • Jean Kwek
    • 1
  • Michelle M. Lilly
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Northern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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