Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 387–399 | Cite as

Intimate Partner Violence Involving Children and the Parenting Role: Associations with Maternal Outcomes

  • Sarah M. Ahlfs-Dunn
  • Alissa C. Huth-BocksEmail author
Original Article


The aim of the present study was to investigate intimate partner violence (IPV) involving children and the parenting role (e.g., preventing an intimate partner from providing parental care or threatening to take one’s children away). Specifically, the study examined whether this form of IPV affects maternal functioning above and beyond other IPV experiences. Participants included a community sample of 120 primarily low-income, single women, diverse in age, education, and ethnicity, who were interviewed 1 year after giving birth, as part of a longitudinal study. IPV involving children and the parenting role was significantly associated with other experiences of IPV, especially general psychological IPV. Multiple regression analyses revealed that this form of IPV significantly affected mothers’ personal, relational, and parental functioning. Results suggest that it is important to assess for IPV involving children and the parenting role when working with mothers. More research on this unique type of IPV is needed.


Intimate partner violence Children Parenting Mental health Romantic relationships 



This research was supported by grants from the American Psychoanalytic Association and from Eastern Michigan University to the second author. The authors would like to thank the Parenting Project research assistants for their invaluable help with data collection as well as thank the families who participated in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA

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