The effects of domestic violence, child abuse, and parenting stress on psychological distress in children
by Ellens, Jeffrey K., Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA, 2008, 106 pages; 3347597

Abstract:

Studies investigating the effects of both witnessing domestic violence and being physically abused have been plagued by a series of mixed findings. In addition, most studies in the family violence literature have been descriptive rather than theoretical, resulting in a shortage of literature examining the mechanisms by which family violence negatively impacts children. The present study examined the impact of being exposed to one versus two forms of family violence. Additionally, this investigation explored the relationship between maternal parenting stress and child adjustment problems after witnessing or experiencing abuse.

It was hypothesized that children exposed to domestic violence and child abuse would show more severe adjustment problems than children exposed to domestic violence only. It was further hypothesized that there would be a significant relationship between maternal parenting stress and subsequent child adjustment problems.

Data were collected from the retrospective interviews of the closed case files of 93 mother-child dyads who received services at a non-profit child abuse agency. Based on intake data, participants were categorized into (1) children who witnessed domestic violence but were not physically abused (witnesses only), and (2) children who witnessed domestic violence and were also physically abused (abused witnesses). Child adjustment problems were measured using both The Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1991a) and the Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children (Briere, 1996), and maternal parenting stress was measured using the Parenting Stress Index (Abidin, 1995).

Results indicated that children from the abused witnesses group were no more likely to show adjustment problems than children from the witnesses only group. This finding held true across both maternal and child self-report data. Other findings indicated a significant relationship between maternal parenting stress and child adjustment problems. Specifically, 40% of the variance in children's internalizing and externalizing problems was explained by maternal parenting stress. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

 
AdviserMerith Cosden
SchoolUNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
SourceDAI/B 70-02, Apr 2009
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsDevelopmental psychology; Clinical psychology; Individual & family studies
Publication Number3347597
Adobe PDF Access the complete dissertation:
 

» Find an electronic copy at your library.
  Use the link below to access a full citation record of this graduate work:
  http://gateway.proquest.com/openurl%3furl_ver=Z39.88-2004%26res_dat=xri:pqdiss%26rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:dissertation%26rft_dat=xri:pqdiss:3347597
  If your library subscribes to the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database, you may be entitled to a free electronic version of this graduate work. If not, you will have the option to purchase one, and access a 24 page preview for free (if available).

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With over 2.3 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

The database includes citations of graduate works ranging from the first U.S. dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester. Of the 2.3 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 1.9 million in full text formats. Of those, over 860,000 are available in PDF format. More than 60,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - http://www.proquest.com - or call ProQuest Hotline Customer Support at 1-800-521-3042.