Skip to main content

Intimate Partner Violence Victimization, Maternal Child Maltreatment, and the Mediating Impact of Changes in Family Structure

Abstract

To examine the mediating effect of family structure in the relationship between paternal Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and maternal child maltreatment. The method was quantitative analysis of secondary data. Changes in family structure fully mediated the relationship between IPV victimization and maternal child physical abuse (Δ = .069) and partially mediated the impact of IPV on maternal child psychological abuse (Δ = .051). Households wherein IPV occurs are not only unsafe for children because of potential abuse by the perpetrators, they also create dynamics that increase the risk of child maltreatment by the IPV victim. Treating only substance abuse or managing only child maltreatment may be insufficient if these issues are the direct or indirect result of domestic violence. Programs that integrate services are urgently necessary to address the overlap of child abuse and domestic violence.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  • Appleyard, K., Egeland, B., van Dulmen, M. H. M., & Sroufe, L. A. (2005). When more is not better: The role of cumulative risk in child behavior outcomes. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46(3), 235–245.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Archer, J. (2000). Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 126(5), 651–680.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baldridge, S. N. (2010). The impact of familial instability on adolescent behavioral outcomes. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX.

  • Belsky, J. (1980). Child maltreatment: An ecological integration. American Psychologist, 35, 320–335.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Berger, L. M. (2005). Income, family characteristics, and physical violence toward children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 29, 107–133.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brunelli, S. A., Wasserman, G. A., Rauh, V. A., Alvarado, L. E., & Caraballo, L. R. (1995). Mothers’ report of paternal support: Associations with maternal child-rearing attitudes. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 41, 152–171.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burrell, B., Thompson, B., & Sexton, D. (1994). Predicting child abuse potential across family types. Child Abuse and Neglect, 18, 1039–1049.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell, J. C. (2002). Health consequences of intimate partner violence. The Lancet, 359, 1331–1336.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell, K. A., Thomas, A. M., Cook, L. J., & Keenan, H. T. (2012). Longitudinal experiences of children remaining at home after a first-time investigation for suspected maltreatment. Journal of Pediatrics, 161(2), 340–347.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Casanueva, C., Martin, S. L., & Runyan, D. K. (2009). Repeated reports for child maltreatment among intimate partner violence victims: Findings from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being. Child Abuse and Neglect, 33, 84–93.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. (2005). Child maltreatment. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 1, 409–438.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Coohey, C. (2004). Battered mothers who physically abuse their children. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(8), 943–952.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cummings, M. E. (1998). Children exposed to marital conflict and violence: Conceptual and theoretical direction. In G. Holden, R. Geffner, & E. Jouriles (Eds.), Children exposed to marital violence: Theory, research and applied issues. Washington: American Psychological Association.

    Google Scholar 

  • Downs, W. R., Capshew, T., & Rindels, B. (2006). Relationships between adult women’s mental health problems and their childhood experiences of parental violence and psychological aggression. Journal of Family Violence, 21, 439–447.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Downs, W. R., & Rindels, B. (2004). Adulthood depression, anxiety, and trauma symptoms: A comparison of women with nonabusive, abusive, and absent father figures in childhood. Violence and Victims, 19(6), 659–671.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Finkelhor, D., & Jones, L. (2006). Why have child maltreatment and child victimization declined? Journal of Social Issues, 62(4), 685–716.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guterman, N. B., Lee, Y., Lee, S. J., Waldfogel, J., & Rathouz, P. J. (2009). Fathers and maternal risk for physical child abuse. Child Maltreatment, 14(3), 277–290.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Herrenkohl, T. I., Sousa, C., Tajima, E. A., Herrenkohl, R. C., & Moylan, C. A. (2008). Intersection of child abuse and children’s exposure to domestic violence. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 9(2), 84–99.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indices in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, M. P. (2006). Conflict and control: Gender symmetry and asymmetry in domestic violence. Violence against Women, 12, 1003–1018.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, M. P. (2008). A typology of domestic violence. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, M. P. (2011). Gender and types of intimate partner violence: A response to an anti- feminist literature review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16, 289–296.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, M. P., & Leone, J. M. (2005). The differential effects of intimate terrorism and situational couple violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women survey. Journal of Family Issues, 26(3), 322–349.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jones, L. M., Finkelhor, D., & Halter, S. (2006). Child maltreatment trends in the 1990s: Why does neglect differ from sexual and physical abuse? Child Maltreatment, 11(2), 107–120.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jouriles, E. N., McDonald, R., Smith Slep, A. M., Heyman, R. E., & Garrido, E. (2008). Child abuse in the context of domestic violence: Prevalence, explanations, and practice implications. Violence and Victims, 23(2), 221–236.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Juby, C. (2009). Parental attitude: A mediating role in disciplinary methods used by parents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 26, 519–531.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levendosky, A. A., & Graham-Bermann, S. A. (2000). Behavioral observations of parenting in battered women. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 80–94.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Levendosky, A. A., & Graham-Bermann, S. A. (2001). Parenting in battered women: The effects of domestic violence on women and their children. Journal of Family Violence, 16(2), 171–192.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lieberman, A. F. (2007). Ghosts and angels: Intergenerational patterns in the transmission and treatment of the traumatic sequelae of domestic violence. Infant Mental Health Journal, 28(4), 422–439.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lieberman, A. F., & Van Horn, P. (2005). Don’t hit my mommy! A manual for child parent psychotherapy for young witness of family violence. Washington: Zero to Three.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lieberman, A. F., & Van Horn, P. (2008). Psychotherapy with infants and young children: Repairing the effects of stress and trauma on early attachment. New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nixon, R. D. V., Resick, P. A., & Nishith, P. (2004). An exploration of comorbid depression among female victims of intimate partner violence with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 28, 315–320.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Osofsky, J. (1998). Children as invisible victims of domestic and community violence. In G. Holden, R. Geffner, & E. Jouriles (Eds.), Children exposed to marital violence: Theory, research and applied issues (pp. 95–117). Washington: American Psychological Association.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Pico-Alfonso, M. A., Garcia-Linares, M. I., Celdao-Navarro, N., Blasco-Ros, C., Echeburua, E., & Martinez, M. (2006). The impact of physical, psychological, and sexual intimate male partner violence on women’s mental health: Depressive symptoms, posttraumatic stress disorder, state anxiety, and suicide. Journal of Women’s Health, 15(5), 599–611.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schilling, E. A., Aseltine, R. H., & Gore, S. (2007). Adverse childhood experiences and mental health in young adults: A longitudinal survey. BMC Public Health, 7, 1–10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schreiber, J. B., Stage, F. K., King, J., Nora, A., & Barlow, E. A. (2006). Reporting structural equation modeling and confirmatory factor analysis results: A review. A Journal of Educational Researcher, 99(6), 323–337.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stith, S. M., Liu, T., Davies, L. C., Boykin, E. L., Alder, M. C., Harris, J. M., et al. (2009). Risk factors in child maltreatment: A meta-analytic review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14, 13–29.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Finkelhor, D., Moore, D. W., & Runyan, D. (1998). Identification of child maltreatment with the parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales: Development and psychometric data for a national sample of American parents. Child Abuse and Neglect, 22(4), 249–270.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Swan, S. C., Gambone, L. J., Caldwell, J. E., Sullivan, T. P., & Snow, D. L. (2008). A review of research on women’s use of violence with male intimate partners. Violence and Victims, 23(3), 301–314.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Taylor, C. A., Guerman, N. B., Lee, S. J., & Rathouz, P. J. (2009). Intimate partner violence, maternal stress, nativity, and risk for maternal maltreatment of young children. American Journal of Public Health, 99(1), 175–183.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Turner, H. A., & Butler, M. J. (2003). Direct and indirect effects of childhood adversity on depressive symptoms in young adults. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32(2), 89–104.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Turner, H. A., Finkelhor, D., & Ormrod, R. K. (2006). The effect of lifetime victimization on the mental health of children and adolescents. Social Science and Medicine, 62(1), 13–27.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Child and Families, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, Children’s Bureau (2011). Child Maltreatment 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2013 from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm11.pdf.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. (1999). Blending perspectives and building common ground: A report to Congress on substance abuse and child protection (p. 41). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

  • Williams, L. M. (1994). Recall of childhood trauma: A prospective study of women’s memories of child sexual abuse. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 1167–1176.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Injury Prevention & Control. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/consequences.html.

  • Zelenko, M. A., Huffman, L., Lock, J., Kennedy, Q., & Steiner, H. (2001). Poor adolescent expectant mothers: Can we assess their potential for child abuse? Journal of Adolescent Health, 29, 271–278.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Cindy Juby.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Juby, C., Downs, W. & Rindels, B. Intimate Partner Violence Victimization, Maternal Child Maltreatment, and the Mediating Impact of Changes in Family Structure. Child Adolesc Soc Work J 31, 237–249 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-013-0318-0

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-013-0318-0

Keywords

  • Intimate partner violence
  • Child physical abuse
  • Child psychological abuse
  • Family structure