Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 291–307 | Cite as

Conduct Problems Among Children at Battered Women's Shelters: Prevalence and Stability of Maternal Reports

  • Holly Shinn Ware
  • Ernest N. Jouriles
  • Laura C. Spiller
  • Renee McDonald
  • Paul R. Swank
  • William D. Norwood
Article

Abstract

The present research was designed to (1) replicate prevalence estimates of clinical levels of conduct problems in a large (n = 401) sample of children residing at a shelter for battered women, and (2) assess the stability of mothers' reports of child conduct problems following shelter departure. According to mothers' reports on standardized questionnaires and diagnostic interviews obtained during shelter residence, approximately one third of the children between 4 and 10 years of age exhibited clinical levels of conduct problems. Prior research has demonstrated elevated maternal distress during shelter residence and suggests that such distress may influence mothers' reports of child conduct problems. To examine this issue, a subset of families with children exhibiting clinical levels of conduct problems (n = 68) was reassessed following their shelter departure. Mothers' reports of child conduct problems remained stable despite significant reductions in mothers' distress after shelter exit.

child conduct problems externalizing problems battered women wife abuse 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist/4–18 and 1991 Profile, University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry, Burlington, VT.Google Scholar
  2. Achenbach, T. M., and Edelbrock, C. S. (1983). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist and Revised Child Behavior Profile, University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry, Burlington.Google Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edn., American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  4. Brody, G. H., and Forehand, R. (1986). Maternal perceptions of child maladjustment as a function of the combined influence of child behavior and maternal depression. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 54: 237–240.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, R., Sullivan, C. M., and Davidson W. S., II (1995). Women who use domestic violence shelters: Changes in depression over time. Psychol. Women Q. 19: 237–255.Google Scholar
  6. Christopoulos, C., Cohn, D. A., Shaw, D. S., Joyce, S., Sullivan-Hanson, J., Kraft, S. P., and Emery, R. E. (1987). Children of abused women: I. Adjustment at time of shelter residence. J. Marr. Fam. 49: 611–619.Google Scholar
  7. Costello, E. J., and Angold, A. (1995). Developmental epidemiology. In D. Cicchetti and D. J. Cohen (eds.), Developmental Psychopathology, Vol. 1,Wiley, New York, pp. 23–56.Google Scholar
  8. Derogatis, L. (1977). The SCL-90–R. Clinical Psychometrics Research, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  9. Dix, T. (1991). The affective organization of parenting: Adaptive and maladaptive processes. Psychol. Bull. 110: 3–25.Google Scholar
  10. Edelbrock, C., and Costello, A. J. (1988). Convergence between statistically derived behavior problem syndromes and child psychiatric diagnoses. J. Abnorm. Child Psychol. 16: 219–231.Google Scholar
  11. Forehand, R., McCombs, A., and Brody, G. H. (1987). The relationship between parental depressive mood states and child functioning. Adv. Behav. Res. Ther. 9: 1–20.Google Scholar
  12. Graham-Berman, S. A. (1996). Family worries: Assessment of interpersonal anxiety in children from violent and nonviolent families. J. Clin. Child Psychol. 25: 280–287.Google Scholar
  13. Holden, G. W., and Ritchie, K. L. (1991). Linking extreme marital discord, child rearing, and child behavior problems: Evidence from battered women. Child Dev. 62: 311–327.Google Scholar
  14. Holden, G. W., Stein, J. D., Ritchie, K. L., Harris, S. D., Jouriles, E. N. (1998). Parenting behaviors and beliefs of battered women. In G. W. Holden, R. Geffner, and E. N. Jouriles (eds.), Children Exposed to Marital Violence: Theory, Research, and Applied Issues, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp. 289–334.Google Scholar
  15. Holtzworth-Munroe, A., Jouriles, E. N., Smutzler, N., and Norwood, W. (1998). Victims of domestic violence. In A. S. Bellack, and M. Hersen (eds.), Comprehensive Clinical Psychology, Vol. 9, Pergamon, Oxford, pp. 325–339.Google Scholar
  16. Hughes, H. M., and Barad, S. J. (1983). Psychological functioning of children in a battered women's shelter: A preliminary investigation. Am. J. Orthopsychiatry 53: 525–531.Google Scholar
  17. Hughes, H. M., and Luke, D. A. (1998). Heterogeneity in adjustment among children of battered women. In G. W. Holden, R. Geffner, and E. N. Jouriles (eds.), Children Exposed to Marital Violence: Theory, Research, and Applied Issues, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp. 185–221.Google Scholar
  18. Jaffe, P., Wolfe, D., Wilson, S. K., and Zak, L. (1986). Family violence and child adjustment: A comparative analysis of girls' and boys' behavioral symptoms. Am. J. Psychiatry 143: 74–77.Google Scholar
  19. Jensen, P. S., and Watanabe, H. (1999). Sherlock Holmes and child psychopathology assessment approaches: The case of the false-positive. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 38: 138–146.Google Scholar
  20. Jouriles, E. N., McDonald, R., Stephens, N., Norwood, W., Spiller, L. C., and Ware, H. S. (1998). Breaking the cycle of violence: Helping families departing from battered women's shelters. In G. Holden, R. Geffner, and E. Jouriles (eds.), Children Exposed to Marital Violence: Theory, Research, and Applied Issues, American Psychological Association, Washington DC, pp. 337–369.Google Scholar
  21. Jouriles, E. N., and Thompson, S. M. (1993). Effects of mood on mothers' evaluations of children's behavior. J. Fam. Psychol. 6: 300–307.Google Scholar
  22. Kasius, M. C., Ferdinand, R. F., van den Berg, H., and Verhulst, F. C. (1997). Associations between different diagnostic approaches for child and adolescent psychopathology. J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry 38: 625–632.Google Scholar
  23. Kazdin, A. E., and Heidish, I. E. (1984). Convergence of clinically derived diagnoses and parent checklists among inpatient children. J. Abnorm. Child Psychol. 12: 421–436.Google Scholar
  24. Kolbo, J. R., Blakely, E. H., and Engleman, D. (1996). Children who witness domestic violence: A review of empirical literature. J. Interpers. Viol. 11: 281–293.Google Scholar
  25. Loeber, R., Green, S. M., Lahey, B. B., and Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (1991). Differences and similarities between children, mothers, and teachers as informants on disruptive child behavior. J. Abnorm. Child Psychol. 19: 75–95.Google Scholar
  26. Loeber, R., and Hay, D. (1997). Key issues in the development of aggression and violence from childhood to early adulthood. Ann. Rev. Psychol. 48: 371–410.Google Scholar
  27. McDonald, R., and Stephens, N. (1996). Interview for the assessment of children's disruptive behaviors, Unpublished measure, University of Houston.Google Scholar
  28. Moffitt, T. E. (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. Psychol. Rev. 100: 674–701.Google Scholar
  29. Moore, T. E., and Pepler, D. J. (1998). Correlates of adjustment in children at risk. In G. W. Holden, R. Geffner, and E. N. Jouriles (eds.), Children Exposed to Marital Violence: Theory, Research, and Applied Issues, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp. 157–184.Google Scholar
  30. O'Keefe, M. (1994). Linking marital violence, mother-child/father-child aggression, and child behavior problems. J. Fam. Viol. 9: 63–78.Google Scholar
  31. Osofsky, J. D. (1998). Children as invisible victims of domestic and community violence. In G. W. Holden, R. Geffner, and E. N. Jouriles (eds.), Children Exposed to Marital Violence: Theory, Research, and Applied Issues, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp. 95–117.Google Scholar
  32. Richters, J. E. (1992). Depressed mothers as informants about their children: A critical review of the evidence for distortion. Psychol. Bull. 112: 485–499.Google Scholar
  33. Rosenbaum, A., and O'Leary, K. D. (1981). Children: The unintended victims of marital violence. Am. J. Orthopsychiatry 51: 692–699.Google Scholar
  34. Schaughency, E. A., and Lahey, B. B. (1985). Mothers' and fathers' perceptions of child deviance: Roles of child behavior, parental depression, and marital satisfaction. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 53: 718–723.Google Scholar
  35. Straus, M. A. (1979). Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: The Conflict Tactics (CT) Scales. J. Marr. Fam. 41: 75–88.Google Scholar
  36. Straus, M. A., and Gelles, R. J. (1990a). How violent are American families? Estimates from the National Family Violence Resurvey and other studies. In M. A. Straus and R. J. Gelles (eds.), Physical Violence in American Families, Transaction, New Brunswick, NJ, pp. 95–112.Google Scholar
  37. Straus, M. A., and Gelles, R. J. (eds.). (1990b). Physical Violence in American Families, Transaction, New Brunswick, NJ.Google Scholar
  38. Sullivan, C. M., and Bybee, D. I. (1999). Reducing violence using community-based advocacy for women with abusive partners. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 67: 43–53.Google Scholar
  39. Wolfe, D. A., Zak, L., Wilson, S., and Jaffe, P. (1986). Child witnesses to violence between parents: Critical issues in behavioral and social adjustment. J. Abnorm. Child Psychol. 14: 95–104.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holly Shinn Ware
    • 1
  • Ernest N. Jouriles
    • 1
  • Laura C. Spiller
    • 1
  • Renee McDonald
    • 1
  • Paul R. Swank
    • 2
  • William D. Norwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HoustonHouston
  2. 2.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of HoustonHouston

Personalised recommendations