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Provider, Caretaker, Nurturer, Hero: Perceptions of Parenting Changes among Women Who Experienced Intimate Partner Violence

NCJ Number
Journal of Child and Family Studies Dated: 2021
L. M. Renner; C. C. Hartley; M. C. Driessen
Date Published

In this study, we examined changes in mothers’ reports of discipline, nurturing, and parenting satisfaction, along with their perceptions of how intimate partner violence (IPV) affected their role as a mother.



Data were gathered from 85 women (86% identified as non-Hispanic White; mean age = 31.7 years; average number of children = 2.5) across three data waves. We used a convergent parallel mixed method design to examine women’s parenting experiences. Two standardized scales assessed parenting discipline, nurturance, and satisfaction. Five additional items assessed perceptions of how IPV influenced parenting. Women responded to open-ended questions about perceptions of their mothering role and how IPV influenced this role over time. We found significant changes in discipline scores and women’s ability to have their desired relationship with their children. Nurturing and parenting satisfaction scores did not significantly change over time. Four themes emerged for women’s role as mothers: provider and nurturer, teacher and discipliner, challenges, and importance of the mother role. Seven themes emerged on how IPV influenced mothering: ability to be present, trouble with discipline, overcompensation and overprotective, learned behavior, no impact, finding strength, and self-doubt. These findings contribute to the growing scholarship assessing women’s perceptions of their mothering roles and parenting in the context of IPV. Future research should examine the impact and nuances of parental interference in various contexts and over time. (Publisher Abstract Provided)