Examining the response to different types of exposure to intimate partner violence


Nikolova, Kristina
Baird, Stephanie
Tarshis, Sarah
Black, Tara
Fallon, Barbara

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Year of Publication: 
International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience, 3(1), 72-87

Objectives: The objective of this study is to examine the differences and similarities in child, family, and case characteristics between different types of exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV), and to determine if type of exposure to IPV influences the decision to provide ongoing child protection services. Methods: Using data from the 2008 Ontario Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (OIS-2008), cases were selected if the investigation was substantiated for exposure to IPV, either as the primary or secondary maltreatment type, resulting in an estimated 17,006 cases. First, bivariate analyses were conducted to compare six different combinations of exposure to IPV and differences in child, family, household, and case characteristics. A logistic regression was used to determine whether the type of exposure was predictive of case opening when controlling for child, parent, and case characteristics. Results: There were significant differences in child and family characteristics between types of exposure to IPV. For cases where exposure to IPV co-occurred with at least one other form of maltreatment, workers noted higher proportions of child and caregiver risk factors than exposure to IPV alone. Conclusions: Cases involving children exposed to emotional violence and another form of maltreatment were most likely to result in case opening, when controlling for all other factors. Implications: The results indicate several important differences in clinical characteristics between types of exposure to IPV in child maltreatment cases. These differences in child, family, and case characteristics can be used to tailor service responses to better help these families.

Type of Publication: 
Journal article
Canadian CW research