Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 177–185 | Cite as

Relationship Abuse and Victims’ Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Associations with Child Behavior Problems

  • Jillian Panuzio
  • Casey T. TaftEmail author
  • Danielle A. Black
  • Karestan C. Koenen
  • Christopher M. Murphy
Original Article


This study examined associations among male-to-female physical and psychological relationship aggression, female partners’ PTSD symptoms, and behavior problems among the children (n = 62) of men enrolled in a treatment program for relationship abuse perpetration. Psychological aggression was a stronger predictor of child behavior problems than physical assault. Restrictive engulfment and hostile withdrawal behaviors evidenced the strongest bivariate associations with child behavior problems, and were the strongest predictors of this outcome when considering four distinct forms of psychological aggression together. Victim PTSD symptoms largely mediated the effects of psychological aggression on child behavior. Findings suggest that male-to-female psychological aggression and victim PTSD symptoms play an important role in understanding behavior problems among children living with male relationship abuse perpetrators.


Relationship abuse Child behavior Posttraumatic stress disorder Psychological aggression 



This project was supported by an Individual National Research Service Award to the second author from the National Institute of Mental Health (1F31MH12234) and by grants from the Directed Research Initiative Fund of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the National Institute of Mental Health (1RO3MH56373).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jillian Panuzio
    • 1
  • Casey T. Taft
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Danielle A. Black
    • 3
  • Karestan C. Koenen
    • 4
  • Christopher M. Murphy
    • 3
  1. 1.National Center for PTSDVA Boston Healthcare System (116B-2)BostonUSA
  2. 2.Boston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  3. 3.University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Harvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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