Prevention Science

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 449–458 | Cite as

Can a Parenting Intervention to Prevent Early Conduct Problems Interrupt Girls’ Risk for Intimate Partner Violence 10 Years Later?

  • Miriam K. Ehrensaft
  • Heather Knous Westfall
  • Phyllis Holditch Niolon
  • Thailyn Lopez
  • Dimitra Kamboukos
  • Keng-Yen Huang
  • Laurie Miller Brotman


This study tests whether a parenting intervention for families of preschoolers at risk for conduct problems can prevent later risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). Ninety-nine preschoolers at familial risk for conduct problems were randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. Ten years later, 45 preschoolers and 43 of their siblings completed an assessment of their romantic relationships, including measures of physical and psychological IPV. The study focuses on the 54 females, including targets (n = 27) and siblings (n = 27) who participated in a 10-year follow-up (M age = 16.5, SD = 5.2, range = 10–28). Using an intent-to-treat (ITT) design, multivariate regressions suggest that females from families randomly assigned to intervention in early childhood scored lower than those in the control condition on perceptions of dating violence as normative, beliefs about IPV prevalence, exposure to IPV in their own peer group, and expected sanction behaviors for IPV perpetration and victimization. Findings suggest that early parenting intervention may reduce association of high-risk females with aggressive peers and partners in adolescence.


Intimate partner violence Conduct problems Prevention Adolescent Behavior problems 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


This grant was supported by funding from the Centers for Disease Control (5 U49 CE001247, 2007–2012, to M. Ehrensaft) and the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH055188, 1997–2007, to L. Brotman).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

11121_2017_831_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (75 kb)
ESM 1 Consort. (PDF 74.6 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam K. Ehrensaft
    • 1
    • 2
  • Heather Knous Westfall
    • 1
    • 3
  • Phyllis Holditch Niolon
    • 4
  • Thailyn Lopez
    • 1
  • Dimitra Kamboukos
    • 5
  • Keng-Yen Huang
    • 5
  • Laurie Miller Brotman
    • 5
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Institutional Research, Renton CollegeRentonUSA
  4. 4.National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlCenters for Disease ControlNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Population HealthNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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