Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 427–434 | Cite as

Severity of Psychological Maltreatment and Accumulative Risk for Psychopathology in Children of Mothers Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence

  • Ariadna de la VegaEmail author
  • Nuria de la Osa
  • Roser Granero
  • Lourdes Ezpeleta


Psychological maltreatment (PM) is an extremely heterogeneous phenomenon that includes several subtypes. The aim of this work is to explore whether the accumulation of different subtypes of PM has a greater impact on the child’s psychopathology and functional impairment. One hundred and sixty-eight children and adolescents aged between 4 and 17 whose mothers had been exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) participated. Psychopathology was assessed through a rating scale and a diagnostic interview. Polynomial contrasts by means of Generalized Estimated Equations explored linear and quadratic trends. The greater the number of PM subtypes suffered by children, the greater the adverse effects in psychopathology and functioning. When a child suffers four PM subtypes, the number of DSM disorders is, on average, twice as high compared with children who are suffering only one PM subtype. Linear trends were mainly found in internalizing problems. The importance of accurately assessing characteristics and severity of PM, and design efficient programs of prevention and treatment, is highlighted.


Accumulative risk Children Intimate partner violence Psychological maltreatment 



This work was supported by grant SEJ2005-01786 and by a grant from the Research Training Program (Spanish Ministry of Education and Science). University Training Program (Formación del Profesorado Universitario, FPU) reference AP2007-01614.

And grant y the Science and Education Ministry of Spain for the proyect "Effects of Domestic Violence i Children" (Efectos de la exposición a violencia doméstica en niños) reference SEJ2005-01786.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ariadna de la Vega
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nuria de la Osa
    • 1
  • Roser Granero
    • 2
  • Lourdes Ezpeleta
    • 1
  1. 1.Unitat d’ Epidemiologia i Diagnòstic en Psicopatologia del Desenvolupament, Departament de Psicología Clínica i de la SalutUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra, BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Unitat d’ Epidemiologia i Diagnòstic en Psicopatologia del Desenvolupament, Departament de Psicobiología i Metodologia de les Ciències de la SalutUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra, BarcelonaSpain

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