This study examines research on the effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) on child development and presents a comprehensive theoretical model of the effects of IPV on children's development.
This review synthesizes the literature on childhood exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV), which numerous studies associate with adverse mental health, social, and academic functioning, and highlights the critical role of child self-regulation in mediating children's adjustment outcomes. The authors discuss major methodological problems of the field, including failure to consider the effects of prenatal IPV exposure and the limitations of variable-oriented and cross-sectional approaches. Finally, the authors present a comprehensive theoretical model of the effects of IPV on children's development. This model includes three mechanistic pathways—one that is unique to IPV (maternal representations) and two that are consistent with the effects of other stressors (maternal mental health and physiological functioning). In this model, the effects of these three pathways on child adjustment outcomes are mediated through parenting and child self-regulation. Future research directions and clinical implications are discussed in the context of the model. (Published Abstract Provided)