Exposure to IPV among Children in the Child Welfare System and an Emotional-Behavioral Disability: the Role of Maternal Depression and Social Support

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Abstract

This study examines the relationship between children’s exposure to IPV and EBD among children involved in the child welfare system for suspected maltreatment (both substantiated and unsubstantiated). It specifically examines how children’s trauma symptoms, maternal depression, and maternal social support may impact the relationship between exposure to IPV and EBD. This study uses structural equation modeling with data from the second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Wellbeing to examine the relationship between exposure to IPV and EBD among 989 children (ages 8–17) involved in the child welfare system. Moderated mediation was employed to examine whether children’s trauma symptoms mediate the relationship between IPV exposure and EBD and whether differences in maternal depression and social support impact such mediation effect. Child trauma symptoms and maternal social support were significantly related to EBD. The current study highlights the relationship between children’s trauma symptoms and EBD among children in the child welfare system. The study also provides preliminary evidence for maternal social support as a protective factor for children developing EBD. Implications of this research include providing interventions as well as increasing maternal social support to potentially reduce the likelihood of children developing EBD.

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Acknowledgements

Data for this manuscript was provided by National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect at Cornell University, and have been used with permission. The information and opinions expressed reflect solely the opinions of the author.

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Ravi, K.E. Exposure to IPV among Children in the Child Welfare System and an Emotional-Behavioral Disability: the Role of Maternal Depression and Social Support. Journ Child Adol Trauma (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-021-00367-9

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Keywords

  • Intimate partner violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Emotional and behavioral disabilities
  • Trauma symptoms
  • Protective factors