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Postshelter Adjustment of Children From Violent Families

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 21 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2006 Pages: 1046-1062
Kelly L. Jarvis; Raymond W. Novaco
Date Published
August 2006
17 pages
This study examined the adjustment of battered women and their children after exiting domestic violence shelters.
Participants were 62 women who had endured severe partner abuse, completed a shelter program with their children, and resided in the community for at least 6 months. Field interviews concerned mothers' and children's abuse histories and included measures of maternal depression, maternal trauma, and child behavior problems. Nearly all women had lived violence free since shelter exit. Child internalizing behaviors were associated with direct abuse, maternal depression, and shelter program. Externalizing behaviors were related to maternal depression and shelter program. Neither severity of interparental violence nor maternal trauma symptoms was related to child behavior problems. Mothers' family of-origin abuse predicted current satisfaction with child functioning, beyond the effects of maternal depression and child behavioral problems. Findings suggest a need for postshelter therapeutic services and further research addressing the adjustment of such families. (Published Abstract)