Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 135–144 | Cite as

The Association between Maternal Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Spanish Children and Adolescents

  • Concepción López-SolerEmail author
  • Mavi Alcántara-López
  • Maravillas Castro
  • Julio Sánchez-Meca
  • Visitación Fernández
Original Article


This correlational cross-sectional study was designed to investigate whether the intimate partner violence (IPV) suffered by mothers (physical and psychological maltreatment), the neglect suffered by children, and the maltreatment (physical and psychological) directly suffered by children are statistically associated with an increase in the probability of the child’s suffering psychopathological problems. The sample consisted of 189 Spanish children aged 6 to 17 and their mothers, recruited from Centers of Specialized Assistance for Women Victims of IPV. The results of a canonical correlation analysis showed that the most significant problems suffered by the children were both externalizing and internalizing ones. In girls, the maltreatment suffered by their mothers was directly related to a larger frequency of somatic complaints than in boys. In addition, physical maltreatment to the mother and emotional maltreatment suffered by the child exhibited a statistically significant relationship with aggressive behaviour, thought problems, rule-breaking behaviour, attention problems, and withdrawn-depressed.


Intimate partner violence Children and adolescents Child behavior checklist Emotional and behavioural problems Child maltreatment, gender differences 



This work has been funded by the Head Office for Social Policy in the Region of Murcia, under the subsidy awarded to the Association for the Development of Mental Health in Childhood and Youth, “Quiero Crecer” (I Want to Grow), for the Project “Atención Psicológica a Hijos e Hijas de Mujeres Víctimas de Violencia de Género” (Psychological Attention for Sons and Daughters of Women suffering Gender Violence).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they have no competing interests.


This research was supported by Psychological Intervention Project with children of battered women, funded by the Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia, Spain.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Concepción López-Soler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mavi Alcántara-López
    • 1
  • Maravillas Castro
    • 1
  • Julio Sánchez-Meca
    • 1
  • Visitación Fernández
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyEspinardo Campus, University of MurciaMurciaSpain

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