Mothers and infants exposed to intimate partner violence compensate

Journal article
Canadian CW research
Authors

Letourneau, Nicole
Young Morris, Catherine
Secco, Loretta
Stewart, Miriam
Hughes, Jean
Crichley, Kim

Source
Violence and Victims, 28(4): 571-586
Abstract

Reasons for the developmental variability in children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) are unclear and under studied. This article presents exploratory findings on (a) the potential impact of IPV on mother-child relationships and child development and (b) the association between these maternal-child relationship impacts and child development. The fit of findings with compensatory, spillover, and compartmentalization hypotheses was explored. Participants were 49 mothers and 51 children younger than 3 years of age affected by IPV. Data were collected on maternal-child interactions, child development, social support, difficult life circumstances, family functioning, child temperament, and parental depression. The findings suggested developmental impacts on children in the sample, along with children's high sensitivity and responsiveness to their caregivers. Although some spillover effects were observed, the predominant observation was of mothers and infants compensating for exposure to IPV in their interactions

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