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Estimating the number of American children living in partner-violent families. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(1), 137-142

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The number of American children living in partner-violent households was estimated from a nationally representative sample of 1,615 dual-parent households. Approximately 15.5 million American children were estimated to live in families in which partner violence had occurred at least once in the previous year, with 7 million estimated to live in families in which severe partner violence had occurred. The prevalence of partner violence was higher among couples with children than among couples without children.
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Estimating the Number of American Children Living in
Partner-Violent Families
Renee McDonald and Ernest N. Jouriles
Southern Methodist University
Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler and Raul Caetano
University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas
Regional Campus
Charles E. Green
University of Houston
The number of American children living in partner-violent households was estimated from a
nationally representative sample of 1,615 dual-parent households. Approximately 15.5 mil-
lion American children were estimated to live in families in which partner violence had
occurred at least once in the previous year, with 7 million estimated to live in families in
which severe partner violence had occurred. The prevalence of partner violence was higher
among couples with children than among couples without children.
Keywords: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, children, prevalence
It is becoming increasingly clear that physical violence
between adult intimate partners increases children’s risk for
a variety of adjustment difficulties. For example, children
living in households characterized by frequent and severe
partner violence exhibit more behavioral and emotional
problems than children in nonviolent households (Jouriles,
Norwood, McDonald, & Peters, 2001; Margolin & Gordis,
2000). Children’s exposure to adult physical aggression in
experimental laboratory research leads to short-term behav-
ioral disruptions and distress (Cummings, Vogel, Cum-
mings, & El-Sheikh, 1989; Laumakis, Margolin, & John,
1998), with repeated exposure theorized to result in more
long-standing adjustment difficulties (Cummings & Davies,
1994). Adults who report childhood exposure to partner
violence experience greater difficulties in interpersonal re-
lationships and more emotional problems than those who
report no such exposure (Stith, Rosen, & Middleton, 2000).
In short, converging results from disparate studies make it
increasingly clear that partner violence is deleterious for
children.
The magnitude of this problem in the United States,
however, is not quite so clear. A few investigators have
derived estimates of the number of American children living
in partner-violent families (e.g., Carlson, 1984; Holden,
1998; Straus, 1992). However, each of the estimates is
constrained by problems in its derivation. Carlson’s (1984)
estimate, which was the first and is perhaps the most widely
cited, illustrates some of these problems. Carlson estimated
that approximately 3.3 million children in the United States
are exposed to intimate partner violence each year. Extrap-
olated from the 1975 National Family Violence Survey
(Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980) and U.S. Census data,
this estimate was limited to households with a child between
3 and 17 years of age. The omission of very young children
is noteworthy because children 5 years old or younger
appear to be disproportionately represented among families
characterized by partner violence (Fantuzzo, Boruch, Be-
riama, Atkins, & Marcus, 1997). Carlson’s estimate is also
based on a single partner’s report of partner violence. Be-
cause disagreement between partners on the occurrence of
such violence is common, estimates based on a single part-
ner’s report are considered to be of lower quality (Caetano,
Schafer, Field, & Nelson, 2002; Jouriles & O’Leary, 1985).
The assessment was also limited to acts of severe violence
(e.g., punching, kicking, threat or use of weapons), which,
in comparison to other acts of partner violence (e.g., pushes,
grabs, shoves), are considerably less common (Schafer,
Caetano, & Clark, 1998; Straus & Gelles, 1990). Although
the bulk of the data linking partner violence with child
Renee McDonald and Ernest N. Jouriles, Department of Psy-
chology, Southern Methodist University; Suhasini Ramisetty-
Mikler and Raul Caetano, School of Public Health, University of
Texas Health Science Center, Dallas Regional Campus; Charles E.
Green, Department of Psychology, University of Houston.
The work of Renee McDonald and Ernest N. Jouriles on this
research was supported by Grant R01-MH62064 from the National
Institute of Mental Health and Grant 98-WT-VX- from the Na-
tional Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Depart-
ment of Justice. Points of view in this report are those of the
authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the
U.S. Department of Justice. The work of Suhasini Ramisetty-
Mikler and Raul Caetano on this research was supported by Grant
R37-AA10908 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism to the School of Public Health, University of Texas
Health Science Center.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to
Renee McDonald, Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist
University, P.O. Box 750442, Dallas, TX 75275-0442. E-mail:
rmcdonal@smu.edu
Journal of Family Psychology Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association
2006, Vol. 20, No. 1, 137–142 0893-3200/06/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.20.1.137
137
problems involves samples characterized by frequent and
severe violence (Jouriles, Norwood, et al., 2001; Margolin
& Gordis, 2000), “minor” violence has also been associated
with child adjustment difficulties (e.g., Fantuzzo et al.,
1991). Arguably, such violence should be considered when
estimating the number of children living in partner-violent
families. In fairness to Carlson, her estimate was offered in
the context of an early literature review, presented with
clear caveats, and offered in the absence of more direct data.
Yet, her projection is still one of very few available and is
regularly cited by researchers and policymakers.
The purpose of this study is to provide an updated,
scientifically sound estimate of the number of American
children living in partner-violent households. Based on a
secondary analysis of a large, national, multistage probabil-
ity sample of married and cohabiting couples, the estimate
reflects intimate partner violence in dual-parent households
with children. The sample includes couples with children
(ages 0 –17 years) living in the household, and the measure
of violence is derived from both partners’ reports. In addi-
tion, as there is no universally accepted definition of partner
violence, and minor and severe partner violence both have
been associated with child difficulties, we report both, and
we report both male violence and female violence.
Method
Participants and Data Collection
Participants were selected through a multistage area probability
sampling procedure from individuals 18 years of age or older in
households in the 48 contiguous states. A total of 4,925 partici-
pants (main participants) were interviewed in 1995, with a re-
sponse rate of 77%. The sample includes oversamples of Blacks
(n 1,588) and Hispanics (n 1,585). For this study, only
married or cohabiting couples were included. All couples 18 years
of age and older living in these randomly selected households were
eligible for inclusion. This process identified 1,925 couples, of
which 1,635 couples completed the interview, yielding a response
rate of 85% (the 1,635 couples in which both partners were
successfully interviewed, divided by the 1,925 eligible couples).
Additional details on the study population and data collection are
presented elsewhere (Caetano & Clark, 1998; Schafer et al., 1998).
Trained interviewers conducted interviews with both members
of each couple independently in their homes. The main respondent
participated in a face-to-face interview that took approximately 1
hr to complete, whereas the spouse or partner responded to a
briefer (approximately 20 min) version of the interview. Approx-
imately 57% of those who completed the 1-hr interview were male.
Spanish-speaking participants were given the choice to be inter-
viewed in either English or Spanish. Before beginning, the inter-
viewer made sure that the interview would be conducted in private.
Interviewers rated each interview for overall quality (questionable,
generally adequate, or high) on the basis of impressions of partic-
ipants cooperation and interest and whether someone else (e.g.,
partner, other family member, friend) interrupted the interview. In
total, interviews from 20 couples were excluded (4 were same-sex
couples and 16 were considered questionable in quality). Thus, the
final sample for the present study included 1,615 married or
cohabiting couples: 555 White couples, 357 Black couples, 527
Hispanic couples, and 176 mixed/other couples (partners who were
not of the same ethnicity or couples in which one or both were of
mixed ethnicity).
Measures
Partner violence. Participants were asked about the occur-
rence of 11 violent behaviors that they may have perpetrated
against their partners, or that their partners may have perpetrated
against them, during the past year. The items were adapted from
the Conflict Tactics Scale, Form R (CTS; Straus, 1990) and in-
cluded “threw something”; “pushed, grabbed or shoved”;
“slapped”; “kicked, bit or hit”; “hit or tried to hit with something”;
“beat up”; “choked”; “burned or scalded”; “forced sex”; “threat-
ened with a knife or gun”; “used a knife or gun.” Because of
survey time constraints, occurrence (yes/no) rather than frequency
data were collected. In accord with previously published reports
(e.g., Leonard & Quigley, 1999; McDonald, Jouriles, Norwood,
Ware, & Ezell, 2000; O’Leary et al., 1989), couples were catego-
rized as violent if either member reported the occurrence of 1 or
more of any of the 11 acts of violence. Couples were categorized
as nonviolent if both members reported no violent acts. Similarly,
within each couple classified as violent, the man was classified as
violent if he or his partner reported that he had committed any of
the 11 acts of violence and was classified as nonviolent if both
partners indicated that he had not engaged in any of the violent
acts. The woman was classified in this fashion as well.
Severity of violence was also measured. In accord with
previous reports (e.g., Straus et al., 1980; Straus & Gelles,
1990), the couple was categorized as reporting severe violence
if either partner reported the occurrence of one or more of the
following acts: “kicked, bit or hit”; “hit or tried to hit with
something”; “beat up”; “choked”; “burned or scalded”; “forced
sex”; “threatened with a knife or gun”; “used a knife or gun.”
The males and females composing each violent couple were
also each classified as having engaged in severe violence or not.
This classification of severe violence is consistent with the
results of a number of factor analytic studies of the CTS (e.g.,
Barling, O’Leary, Jouriles, Vivian, & MacEwan, 1987; Pan,
Neidig, & O’Leary, 1994).
Presence of children in the home. The presence of children
ages 0–17 who resided in the couple’s home was obtained for each
participating couple.
Data Analysis
Because of the multistage sample design, standard errors were
expected to be larger than those observed with simple random
samples. We used Software for Survey Data Analysis (Research
Triangle Institute, 2002) to correct for this effect, and we weighted
the data to correct for probability of selection into the sample and
nonresponse rates. In addition, we calculated a poststratification
weight to adjust the sample to known population distributions on
certain demographic variables (ethnicity of the household infor-
mant, metropolitan status, and region of the country). For calcu-
lating the number of children living in partner-violent married and
cohabiting households, we used the poststratification weights to
adjust the ethnic composition of the sample to reflect the U.S.
population.
Data from the 2001 Current Population Survey (CPS) were used
to estimate the number of children in the United States exposed to
partner violence over the course of a year. According to the CPS,
there were 61,939,000 married or cohabiting couples in the United
States in 2001, and there were approximately 52,700,000 children
living in married or cohabiting dual-parent households (U.S. Cen-
138 M
CDONALD ET AL.
sus Bureau, 2003; Detailed Tables FG3, UC1, and C3).
1
The
number of children living in partner-violent households was cal-
culated with the following formula:
The proportion of couples in the sample in which partner
violence occurred the proportion of violent couples in the
sample with at least one child living in the home the
average number of children per violent couple with children
living in the home the number of married and cohabiting
couples in the United States.
This formula was used to estimate the number of children living
in families in which any partner violence occurred and in which
severe intimate partner violence occurred over the 12-month pe-
riod preceding the assessment. The formula was also used to
estimate the number of children living in families in which male-
to-female and female-to-male violence had occurred.
Results
Prevalence of Partner Violence
The prevalence in the previous year for each act of
partner violence, for any violence, and for severe violence is
presented in Table 1. Prevalence rates are also presented
separately for male and female partner violence. Partner
violence was reported by 21.45% of couples, with male-to-
female violence in 13.66% and female-to-male violence in
18.20% of couples. Severe partner violence was reported by
8.64% of couples, with severe male-to-female partner vio-
lence in 3.63% of couples and severe female-to-male part-
ner violence in 7.52% of couples.
Presence of Children in Partner-Violent Families
Any violence. Among the 21.45% of couples in which
partner violence was reported to have occurred, 59.02% had
children living in the household. These figures indicate that
12.66% (21.45% 59.02%) of the couples in the total
sample reported the occurrence of intimate partner violence
and had children living in the home. There were 1.98
children, on average, in households with children and in
which intimate partner violence occurred. When extrapo-
lated to the 2001 U.S. population, this translates to approx-
imately 15.5 million children (21.45% 59.02% 1.98
61,939,000) living in married or cohabiting households in
which partner violence occurred. This figure represents
29.4% of the 52,700,000 children in the United States who
live in married or cohabiting households. These calculations
are summarized in Table 2, as are the corresponding calcu-
lations for severe violence and for male and female
violence.
Severe violence. For the entire sample, 8.64% of cou-
ples reported at least one incident of severe partner violence
during the previous year; 62.57% of these couples had
children living in the household. Thus, 5.41% (8.64%
62.57%) of couples reported severe partner violence and
had children in the home. There was an average of 2.10
children per household characterized by both severe partner
violence and the presence of children. When applied to the
2001 U.S. population, this yields approximately 7 million
children (8.64% 62.57% 2.10 61,939,000)—or
13.3% of the 52,700,000 children in married or cohabiting
households—living in homes in which severe partner vio-
lence occurred.
Male-to-female and female-to-male partner violence.
As indicated in Table 2, 13.66% of couples reported male-
to-female partner violence. Among these, 63.14% had chil-
dren living in the home, with an average of 2.01 children per
home in which male-to-female violence occurred. Thus,
approximately 10.7 million children (13.66% 63.14%
2.01 61,939,000), or 20.4% of those in a married or
cohabiting household, lived in homes in which male-to-
female partner violence occurred. The corresponding figure
for severe male-to-female violence is 2.3 million, or 4.3% of
U.S. children in married or cohabiting households.
Female-to-male partner violence was reported to have
occurred in 18.20% of couples. Among these, 61.60% had
children living in the home, with an average of 1.98 children
per household in which female-to-male partner violence
occurred. Thus, approximately 13.8 million U.S. children,
or 26.1%, lived in married or cohabiting households in
which female-to-male partner violence occurred. Approxi-
mately 6 million, or 11.4%, lived in families in which severe
female-to-male partner violence occurred.
Presence versus absence of children in partner-violent
families. An inspection of Table 2 suggests that couples
with children may be more likely than couples without
children to report partner violence. Among nonviolent cou-
ples, 44.04% had children living in the home. As stated
above, 59.02% of couples reporting any partner violence
had children living in the home. These proportions differed
significantly,
2
(1, N 1,614) 8.3, p .004. The
proportion of nonviolent couples with children also differed
from the proportion of violent couples with children who
reported severe violence, 62.57%,
2
(1, N 1,614) 9.1,
p .01; male-to-female partner violence, 63.14%,
2
(1,
N 1,614) 11.7, p .0007; and female-to-male partner
violence, 61.60%,
2
(1, N 1,614) 11.4, p .0008.
Discussion
The results of this study suggest that approximately 15.5
million American children live in dual-parent households in
which intimate partner violence has occurred within the past
year, with approximately 7 million living in households in
which severe partner violence has occurred. This means that
29.4% of children in dual-parent homes live in a family in
which partner violence has recently occurred, and 13.3%
live in a family in which severe partner violence has re-
cently occurred. Although greater in magnitude than previ-
ous estimates, these findings nonetheless very likely under-
estimate the true number of children in partner-violent
families in the United States. For example, the number of
children in partner-violent families among the over 20 mil-
1
Because of social desirability factors operating to suppress
reporting of unmarried cohabitation, data on cohabiting couples
are believed to underestimate their actual prevalence in the U.S.
population.
139PREVALENCE
lion children (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003; Detailed Table
C3) in households that are not headed by married or cohab-
iting parents (e.g., single-parent households, households in
which children live with grandparents, foster homes or
homes with other guardianship arrangements, same-sex
dual-parent households) is unknown and not included in our
estimate.
The number of children estimated to live in partner-
violent homes is higher in this research than in previous
research (e.g., Carlson, 1984). In fact, the 1-year estimate of
15.5 million is comparable to or higher than estimates (on
the basis of retrospective data collected from adults) of the
prevalence of exposure to partner violence during all of
childhood and adolescence (e.g., Holden, 1998; Straus,
1992). The higher estimates in this study are likely attrib-
utable to a number of factors, including the use of multiple
informants of partner violence, the inclusion of a wider age
range of children in the sample, the assessment of a broader
range of acts of partner violence, and an increase in the U.S.
population. When considered in light of evidence that ex-
posure to partner violence elevates risk for a variety of child
problems (Jouriles, Norwood, et al., 2001; Margolin &
Gordis, 2000), this research suggests that the scope of this
problem may be considerably larger than previously
thought. It is prudent to remember that much of the research
linking partner violence with child problems has been based
on samples of children living in families characterized by
frequent and severe violence (Jouriles, Norwood, et al.,
2001; Margolin & Gordis, 2000). However, there is accu-
mulating evidence that even low levels of partner violence
are associated with increased risk for child problems (e.g.,
Fantuzzo et al., 1991). If, as this research suggests, almost
30% of children live in homes in which partner violence
occurs, then understanding the magnitude and nature of the
risks it presents for children is important for informing
policy and intervention development. Setting aside ques-
tions of the risk entailed by low levels of partner violence,
it is noteworthy that in the present research, the estimate of
children living in families in which severe partner violence
occurred was twice as high as has been previously esti-
mated. Indeed, almost half of the children in the partner-
Table 1
Prevalence of Partner-Violent Acts Committed During the Past Year Within Couples
and Separately for Men and Women
Violent act Couple Male-to-female Female-to-male
1. Threw something 12.9 4.9 11.6
2. Pushed, grabbed, or shoved 15.6 11.2 12.2
3. Slapped 6.8 2.5 5.6
4. Kicked, bit, or hit 4.9 1.8 4.3
5. Hit or tried to hit with something 6.4 2.0 5.6
6. Beat up 0.8 0.5 0.3
7. Choked 0.9 0.7 0.3
8. Burned or scalded 0.5 0.3 0.1
9. Forced sex 1.0 0.7 0.6
10. Threatened with a knife or gun 1.1 0.4 0.9
11. Used a knife or gun 0.4 0.3 0.1
Any violence 21.45 13.66 18.20
Severe violence 8.64 3.63 7.52
Note. Any violence one or more of items 1–11 reported; severe violence one or more of items
4 –11 reported.
Table 2
Estimating the Number of Children Living in Partner-Violent Households
Data description
Violence by
either partner
Violence by
men
Violence by
women
Any Severe Any Severe Any Severe
1. Couples in total sample reporting partner violence (%) 21.45 8.64 13.66 3.63 18.20 7.52
2. Among those reporting partner violence, the proportion with
children (%) 59.02 62.57 63.14 58.40 61.60 61.60
3. In the total sample, couples reporting violence with children (%)
a
12.66 5.41 8.62 2.10 11.20 4.63
4. Average no. of children per dual-parent violent household with
children 1.98 2.10 2.01 1.74 1.98 2.10
5. No. of children in violent households (in millions)
b
15.5 7.0 10.7 2.3 13.8 6.0
6. Children in violent households (%)
c
29.4 13.3 20.4 4.3 26.1 11.4
Note. Number of married/cohabiting couples in the United States in 2001 61,939,000; number of children in the United States in 2001
who live in married/cohabiting households 52,700,000.
a
Row 3 Row 1 Row 2.
b
Row 5 Row 3 61,939,000 Row 4.
c
Row 6 Row 5/52,700,000.
140 M
CDONALD ET AL.
violent families lived in families in which severe partner
violence had occurred.
As expected from previous research with this and other
community samples (Archer, 2000), differences were ob-
served in the rates of male and female partner violence, with
female violence occurring more frequently. There is very
little research on the relative risk to children of male versus
female partner violence. In some populations or settings
(e.g., shelters for victims of domestic violence, batterer
treatment programs), it may be clear that one partner’s
violence poses a greater risk for children. It might also be
inferred, given the different consequences of male versus
female violence (Archer, 2000) that male violence is more
detrimental to children. Again, however, in unselected sam-
ples (e.g., community samples), very little is known about
how, or whether, male and female violence differentially
influence children’s adjustment.
The results of this study also indicate that rates of inti-
mate partner violence are higher among couples with chil-
dren than those without children. This finding is consistent
with research on families in which partner violence is re-
ported to the police (Fantuzzo et al., 1997) and in medical
practice samples (Bradley, Smith, Long, & O’Dowd, 2002).
From a clinical perspective, this knowledge can be impor-
tant and useful. Specifically, the fact that children often are
part of partner-violent families should be considered in
family assessments and in the design and implementation of
interventions for partner violence. For example, the possible
involvement of children in violent episodes needs to be
considered in the assessment and treatment of families in
which intimate partner violence occurs. Similarly, the pos-
sible deleterious effects on children of intervention strate-
gies for their parents’ partner violence bear consideration.
This study has a number of limitations. Although it pro-
vides evidence that a considerable number of American
children live in families in which physical violence between
married or cohabiting partners occurs, we do not have data
on the frequency, context, or consequences of the violence.
Such data would inform our understanding of the violence
reported in this study. However, it should be noted that
versions of the violence measure used in this study have
also been very widely used in the research documenting
links between partner violence and child problems. That is,
associations between partner violence and child problems
have been obtained regardless of the context and conse-
quences of the violence. Another possible limitation is that
interviews for this study were conducted in individuals’
homes, rather than in a lab. The influence of the home
setting on interview data is unknown, but it is likely that the
influence of variables related to the home setting (e.g., the
presence of other family members at home but in other
rooms during the interview; participants’ concerns about
potential conflict or violence as a consequence of the inter-
views) would have resulted in underreporting of violence,
rendering our estimate a conservative one. Also, it should be
noted that this research did not directly assess children’s
exposure to intimate partner violence. Although some con-
sider simply living in a partner-violent household to be a
form of exposure, it is important to recognize that there are
different ways in which children can be exposed to violence
(Holden, 2003; Jouriles, McDonald, Norwood, & Ezell,
2001), and these may be differentially associated with child
problems (Fantuzzo et al., 1991; Jouriles et al., 1998). In
conclusion, the principal finding of this research, that a
sizable proportion of children in the United States live in
partner-violent homes, with a great number living in se-
verely violent homes, provides necessary information for
researchers and policymakers in the children’s public health
arena.
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Received June 16, 2003
Revision received September 2, 2004
Accepted October 26, 2004
142 MCDONALD ET AL.
... Upwards of 15.5 million U.S. children are exposed to IPV annually 5 ; an estimated 16% are exposed to psychological IPV and 17.9% to physical IPV in their lifetimes. 6 IPV exposure, which includes directly witnessing IPV, overhearing IPV, or other indirect exposure, 5 results in numerous immediate and long-term detrimental neurologic, physical, psychological, and behavioral health impacts. ...
... Upwards of 15.5 million U.S. children are exposed to IPV annually 5 ; an estimated 16% are exposed to psychological IPV and 17.9% to physical IPV in their lifetimes. 6 IPV exposure, which includes directly witnessing IPV, overhearing IPV, or other indirect exposure, 5 results in numerous immediate and long-term detrimental neurologic, physical, psychological, and behavioral health impacts. 7−11 IPV exposure also places young people at higher risk of becoming involved in an abusive relationships. ...
Article
Introduction Little is known about intimate partner violence-related fatalities among young people. This study comprehensively identifies and describes intimate partner violence-related homicides, homicide–suicides, legal intervention deaths, and suicides among young people. Methods Data from the 2014–2018 National Violent Death Reporting System were analyzed for all decedents aged 0–24 years in 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico with known circumstances of death (n=29,702). Intimate partner violence-related deaths were identified using National Violent Death Reporting System variables across all manners of death and supplementary narrative review for suicides. This article reports the proportion of intimate partner violence versus non–intimate partner violence-related deaths by manner of death, descriptive statistics, and rate of intimate partner violence-related death per 100,000 person years. To examine disparities in intimate partner violence-related deaths, generalized estimating equations were used with robust standard errors to account for clustering of deaths within states and fixed effects for years. Statistical analyses were conducted May and August 2021. Results A total of 1,927 intimate partner violence-related deaths were identified, which represents 6.5% of violent deaths with known circumstances, at a rate of 0.35 per 100,000 person years. Supplementary narrative review identified 44.7% of all intimate partner violence-related deaths. There were significant differences by race/ethnicity and whether a firearm inflicted the fatal injury for male and female decedents by manner of death. Conclusions If the National Violent Death Reporting System does not assess whether intimate partner violence was a precipitating factor across all death manners, the true magnitude of intimate partner violence's contribution to violent death will be underestimated. Future research that identifies factors associated with all manners of intimate partner violence-related deaths among young people will help inform intervention and prevention strategies to save young lives.
... Intimate partner violence (IPV) is more prevalent among couples with children, as 60% of couples experiencing IPV have children living in the household (Hamby et al., 2011;McDonald et al., 2006;Rezey, 2020). Separation from an abusive partner is often thought to be the solution to ending violence; yet, abuse and the risk for lethality often escalates following separation (Campbell et al., 2003;Stark & Hester, 2019;Zeoli et al., 2013). ...
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Aim To report an analysis of the concept of post‐separation abuse and its impact on the health of children and adult survivors. Design Concept analysis. Data Sources A literature search was conducted via PubMed, Cochrane and Embase and identified articles published from 1987 to 2021. Methods Walker and Avant's (2019) eight stage methodology was used for this concept analysis, including identifying the concept, determining the purpose of analysis, identifying uses of the concept, defining attributes, identifying a model case and contrary case, antecedents and consequences and defining empirical referents. Results Post‐separation abuse can be defined as the ongoing, willful pattern of intimidation of a former intimate partner including legal abuse, economic abuse, threats and endangerment to children, isolation and discrediting and harassment and stalking. An analysis of literature identified essential attributes including fear and intimidation; domination, power and control; intrusion and entrapment; omnipresence; and manipulation of systems. Antecedents to post‐separation abuse include patriarchal norms, physical separation, children, spatiality and availability, pre‐separation IPV and coercive control and perpetrator characteristics. Consequences include lethality, adverse health consequences, institutional violence and betrayal, such as loss of child custody and economic deprivation. Conclusion This concept analysis provides a significant contribution to the literature because it advances the science for understanding the phenomenon of post‐separation abuse. It will aid in developing risk assessment tools and interventions to improve standards of care for adult and children survivors following separation from an abusive partner. Impact This concept analysis of post‐separation abuse provides a comprehensive insight into the phenomenon and a theoretical foundation to inform instrument development, future research and intervention. Post‐separation abuse is a complex, multi‐faceted phenomenon that requires differential social, legal and healthcare systems responses to support the health and well‐being of survivors and their children.
... This paper explores the overlap between intimate partner violence (IPV) and child protection services (CPS) involvement among child fatalities (CF), including child maltreatment fatalities (CMF), other violent deaths, or unintentional, preventable deaths not directly linked to maltreatment. Roughly 15 million children in the United States (U.S.) are estimated to live in homes in which incidents of IPV occurred at least once within the last year (McDonald et al., 2006;Wathen & MacMillan, 2013). It is well-documented that children exposed to IPV are also at risk for child abuse and neglect (Hamby et al., 2010;Herrenkohl et al., 2008). ...
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Research indicates many children who experience maltreatment are also exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Some studies find that children with child protective services (CPS) history have higher risk of preventable child fatality (CF). It is not known if there are unique characteristics of families with combined CPS and IPV histories that could inform service plans to reduce risk of later CF. Information from documents published in the Innocents Lost Database was extracted and analyzed, and linked to county level census data. The sample includes CFs from 501 Florida families that occurred from 2008 to 2015. Families had a history of CPS contact, but cause of death varied. Bivariate (t-test, chi-square, correlation) and logistic regression analyses compared CF cases with and without IPV mentioned in the full sample (n = 501) and the reduced sample (n = 155 with in-depth documentation). Prevalence of IPV ranged from 34 to 46% (full and reduced sample respectively) with violent death more common for this group. CFs with noted IPV histories were more likely to involve school-aged children from larger families. Such cases were more likely to include primary caregivers with noted mental health and substance abuse concerns, and/or prior criminal justice system contact and secondary caregivers with criminal justice histories. IPV was common among preventable CFs with prior CPS histories. Caregivers in these families had substantial prior contact with both CPS and other adult service and criminal justice systems. Implications for risk screening and preventive services within adult-serving systems and schools are discussed.
... These results are not surprising, considering how many children are subject to violence, physical harm, and abuse. For instance, in 2001, approximately 15.5 million children in the United States were exposed to domestic violence (McDonald et al., 2006) and this exposure to violence continues (Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, 2020). According to the Administration for Children and Families, of the more than 3.5 million children under investigation for physical abuse and neglect in 2018, an estimated 678,000 cases were confirmed. ...
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This special edition of Professional School Counseling presents some of the key proceedings from the ninth annual Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference. This article offers both an overview of the content of this issue and—in this complex world context we now inhabit—new ideas for ways to use evidence-based school counseling (EBSC) to support the emotional well-being and future success of our students, families, and school colleagues. We include some possible ways to do antiracist and social justice-focused school counseling from an EBSC lens and offer several suggestions for updates to the EBSC lens itself.
... These results are not surprising, considering how many children are subject to violence, physical harm, and abuse. For instance, in 2001, approximately 15.5 million children in the United States were exposed to domestic violence (McDonald et al., 2006) and this exposure to violence continues (Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, 2020). According to the Administration for Children and Families, of the more than 3.5 million children under investigation for physical abuse and neglect in 2018, an estimated 678,000 cases were confirmed. ...
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School counselors are well positioned to support students who have experienced trauma, and the need to do so has increased during the past few years. In this article, we provide school counselors with relevant evidence-based practices that are focused on addressing trauma and supporting students who have experienced a traumatic event(s). We also offer strategies for school counselors to implement a trauma-informed approach to align the delivery of services with multitiered systems of support through advocacy and collaboration in their school.
... Ebeveynin kendi sağlık problemleri ile uğraşması, fiziksel ve mental açıdan çocuğuna yeterli vakit ve ilgiyi gösterememesine neden olmaktadır. Ayrıca ebeveynlerde bulunan psikiyatrik rahatsızlıkların, istismar durumunu güçlü bir şekilde artıran diğer bir faktör olması, çocuklara yeterli ve uygun bakım verilmesini zorlaştırmaktadır (41)(42)(43). ...
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Background: Children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) between caregivers are at an increased risk of becoming involved in dating violence during adolescence. However, to date, few adolescent dating violence (ADV) prevention programs have been developed for and evaluated with youth exposed to IPV. An exception is Moms and Teens for Safe Dates (MTSD), an evidence-based ADV prevention program for mothers or maternal caregivers (mothers) exposed to IPV and their teenagers. The MTSD program comprises a series of booklets that families complete together in a home that includes activities to promote positive family communication and healthy teenager relationships. We developed a web-adapted version of the MTSD program-entitled eMoms and Teens for Safe Dates (eMTSD)-to provide a delivery format that may increase program appeal for digitally oriented teenagers, lower dissemination costs, lower reading burden for low-literacy participants, and incorporate built-in cues and reminders to boost program adherence. Objective: This protocol is for a research study that has the following three main objectives: to assess the acceptability of eMTSD; to identify the feasibility of the research process, including program adherence and participant recruitment and assessment; and to explore the acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy of 2 features-text reminders and the creation of an action plan for engaging with the program-that may increase program uptake and completion. Methods: Approximately 100 mothers and their teenagers will be invited to complete eMTSD, which includes six 30-minute web-based modules over a 6-week period. Mothers will be recruited through community organizations and social media advertising and will be eligible to participate if they have at least 1 teenager aged 12 to 16 years living with them, have experienced IPV after the teenager was born, are not currently living with an abusive partner, and have access to an internet-enabled device. Using a factorial design, enrolled dyads will be randomized to the following four adherence support groups (n=25 dyads per group): text reminders and action planning, text reminders only, action planning only, and no adherence supports. All participants will complete brief web-based assessments at enrollment after each module is completed, after the full program is completed, and 90 days after enrollment. Program adherence will be tracked using website use metrics. Results: The data collected will be synthesized to assess the acceptability of the program and the feasibility of the study procedures. An exploratory analysis will examine the impact of adherence support on program completion levels. In November 2021, ethical approval was received and recruitment was initiated. Data collection is expected to continue until December 2022. Conclusions: The web-based delivery of a family-based healthy relationship program for teenagers exposed to IPV may offer a convenient, low-cost, and engaging approach to preventing ADV. The findings from this study are expected to guide future research. International registered report identifier (irrid): DERR1-10.2196/35487.
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Among children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV), their appraisals and beliefs about IPV have been identified as key cognitive factors that may explain the linkage between IPV exposure and other adjustment outcomes. Grounded in the cognitive-contextual framework, this systematic review summarizes empirical studies examining child IPV exposure, acceptance of IPV, and appraisals of IPV, including perceived threat, self-blame attributions, and coping efficacy. This study is part of a broader evidence and gap map (EGM) that systematically searched seven databases for quantitative studies examining the effects of IPV exposure on all potential child outcomes. Studies were screened and coded for inclusion if they focused on IPV-exposed children 17 years and younger, used a validated or reliable scale to measure child outcomes, and utilized a comparison group. This review examined a subset of 13 studies measuring children's acceptance and/or appraisals of IPV. Findings suggest that children exposed to IPV tend to have stronger beliefs that the use of violence in intimate relationships is acceptable, with important implications for adolescent dating violence. Additionally, children's appraisals of threat and self-blame regarding their parents' IPV acted as a key variable for understanding links between children's IPV exposure and outcomes such as internalizing problems, social anxiety, and self-efficacy. Few studies examined coping efficacy. This review highlights the importance of children's acceptance and appraisals of IPV as an outcome of IPV exposure, and as an intervening factor between IPV exposure and other adjustment outcomes. Implications for intervention and future research are discussed.
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Intimate partner violence (IPV) among parents impacts their child’s development both directly through exposure to violence and indirectly through disruptions in parenting. In particular, use of IPV may affect how fathers respond to infant crying, including at a neurophysiological level. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether use of IPV behavior is associated with differences in fathers’ neural response to infant’s cries. Frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry, as an index of motivational tendencies, was assessed in 25 fathers who used IPV in the last 12 months and 19 fathers with no history of IPV in response to videos of an infant crying, white noise as an aversive control stimulus, and a baseline (no stimulus) condition. Across all conditions, fathers with and without IPV history evidenced greater left frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA), consistent with greater approach motivation. Relative to baseline, infant cries elicited a decrease in left FAA in both groups, whereas white noise elicited different responses between fathers with and without IPV histories, namely less change in FAA from baseline in fathers who used IPV. This suggests similar shifts in motivational intensity in fathers in response to infant cries, but not white noise. Across the sample, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) were positively associated with FAA response to white noise. Together these results reveal neural differences between fathers with and without IPV histories, potentially linked to experiences of childhood adversity.
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Preschool children (N = 107) were divided into 4 groups on the basis of maternal report; home and shelter groups exposed to verbal and physical conflict, a home group exposed to verbal conflict only, and a home control group. Parental ratings of behavior problems and competencies and children's self-report data were collected. Results show that verbal conflict only was associated with a moderate level of conduct problems: verbal plus physical conflict was associated with clinical levels of conduct problems and moderate levels of emotional problems; and verbal plus physical conflict plus shelter residence was associated with clinical levels of conduct problems, higher level of emotional problems, and lower levels of social functioning and perceived maternal acceptance. Findings suggests a direct relationship between the nature of the conflict and residence and type and extent of adjustment problems.
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Factor analytic procedures were used to examine the internal structure of a modified version of Straus's Conflict Tactics Scale, an instrument given routinely to measure marital aggression. A large sample of military personnel (7,504 men and 896 women) reported on the tactics they employed against their spouses during conflict in the past year. These subjects (6,917 men and 779 women) also reported on what their spouses did against them. The data provide new empirical evidence that physical aggression should be conceptualized separately as mild and severe when appraising self-reports of physical aggression by both men and women and when assessing reports of victimization by men. For both men and women, psychological aggression was moderately correlated with mild physical aggression, which was moderately correlated with severe physical aggression. However, for women reporting on their husbands' behavior, all physically aggressive acts clustered as one factor except for the two items involving the use of weapons. These results were cross-validated in a different sample of military personnel (3,596 men and 425 women).
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A number of studies have found evidence suggesting that being a witness to violence puts a child at risk of developing social and psychological problems. However, most of these studies used populations of severely battered women and did not control for confounding with other family characteristics. This study analyzed male and female responses (N=6,002) of the 1985 National Family Violence Survey using an analysis of covariance to control for confounding variables including physical attacks on the child, gender, age, and family socioeconomic status. The study also analyzed whether the child witnessed violence by the father, the mother, or by both. The results demonstrated a link between witnessing marital violence with various psycho-social problems including health problems, feelings of depression and stress, increased drug abuse, use of coercion and violence in marital conflict, child abuse, and engaging in violence and other criminal behavior outside the family. Results suggest that being a witness to violence between parents puts a child at risk for a number of serious mental health and other problems, and that this applies to children of all socioeconomic levels and regardless of whether the child has also been attacked by the parents. (CM)