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Associations of Child Maltreatment and Intimate Partner Violence with Psychological Adjustment Among Low SES, African American Children

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 32 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2008 Pages: 888-896
Nadine J. Kaslow; Martie P. Thompson
Date Published
September 2008
9 pages
This study examined the effects of child maltreatment and exposure to mother’s physical intimate partner violence ((IPV)) on low-socioeconomic status (SES) African-American children’s psychological functioning.
Results indicate that as expected, IPV status of the child’s mother was significantly related to mother-reported internalizing and externalizing problems of the child, and child maltreatment was significantly related to all of the 10 dependent variables, with higher levels of maltreatment associated with higher levels of children’s distress levels. The mother’s age was significantly associated with children’s distress levels; the older the mother, the lower the mother-reported externalizing problems of the child and child-reported anxiety and depression. SES was unrelated to children’s distress levels. Younger children were more likely to have self-reported internalizing problems and anxiety. Child’s sex was significantly related to only 1 of the 10 dependent variables, with females being more likely than males to have sexual concerns. Childhood maltreatment had significant main effects on children’s distress levels in 9 of 10 dependent variables. Higher levels of childhood maltreatment were significantly associated with higher levels of mother-reported internalizing and externalizing problems of their children, as well as child-reported internalizing and externalizing problems, anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, dissociation, and sexual concerns. Higher levels of mothers’ physical IPV were related to poorer psychological functioning of their children. Specifically, higher levels of IPV correlated significantly with higher levels of mother-reported internalizing and externalizing problems of their children as well as child-reported externalizing problems and anger. Data were collected from 152 mothers who were interviewed face-to-face in a large, inner-city hospital, while their child was assessed separately but concurrently. Tables, references