Journal of Family Violence Volume: 28 Issue: 5 Dated: July 2013 Pages: 435-444
This study of ethnically diverse children aged 6 to 12-years-old and their abused mothers examined relations between father contact, IPV, and children's internalizing and externalizing problems.
Little is currently known about father-child contact in families with histories of intimate partner violence (IPV), despite important implications of father contact for these families. The current study of 219 ethnically diverse children aged 6 to 12-years-old and their abused mothers examined relations between father contact, IPV, and children's internalizing and externalizing problems. Approximately 30 percent of the children had no current in-person contact with their father, while another 15 percent saw their father every day of the past year. Child internalizing and externalizing problems were positively correlated with frequency of IPV, but unrelated to father contact. Controlling for marital status and mother education, father contact moderated relations between IPV and child externalizing, but not internalizing problems. While father contact was not associated with child adjustment across the entire sample, it did moderate relations between IPV and child behavior problems, suggesting that child contact with a less violent or nonviolent father or father figure might have a buffering effect on behavior problems in children exposed to IPV. Recommendations around father contact in families with IPV are discussed. Abstract published by arrangement with Springer.
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