The current study examined self-reported and observed positive (i.e., nurturing, sensitive, and responsive) parenting behavior among women who experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy and through their early parenting years.
Mother–child dyads were assessed during the third trimester of pregnancy and each year postpartum until age 4. Latent growth curve models of self-reported positive parenting suggested that IPV experienced during pregnancy was related to women reporting more gradual reductions in positive parenting between ages 1 and 4 and higher levels of positive parenting behavior at age 4; however, IPV experienced during pregnancy was associated with lower levels of observed positive parenting at age 4. These findings suggest that mothers who experience IPV during pregnancy may positively distort their perceptions of their positive parenting during early childhood, such that it is inconsistent with actual parenting behavior. (Publisher Abstract)