TitleThe effects of domestic violence on behavior problems of preschool children
NameYoo, Jeong Ah (author), Huang, Chien-Chung (chair), Postmus, Judy (internal member), Nepomnyaschy, Lenna (internal member), Boxer, Paul (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Family violence--Longitudinal studies,
Preschool children--Psychology--Longitudinal studies,
Mother and child,
Behavior disorders in children
DescriptionUsing four waves across 5 years of a recent longitudinal dataset, this study examined whether domestic violence toward mothers by a child’s father at Year 1 had long-term effects on preschool children’s externalizing and internalizing behavioral outcomes at Year 5 directly or indirectly through maternal mental health and parenting at Year 3. The study also analyzed whether the effects differed depending on poverty and marital status. Findings from structural equation modeling conducted in AMOS showed that domestic violence toward mother by a child’s father at Year 1 was associated with poor maternal mental health and greater use of spanking at Year 3, which in turn were related to greater children’s externalizing and internalizing behavior problems at Year 5. These associations among latent variables in the models still remained significant even when control variables were included in the analyses; only the path between maternal mental health at Year 3 and children’s internalizing behavior problems at Year 5 was no longer significant. Notably, the direct effect of domestic violence on children’s behavior problems was still significant even after including mediators and control variables in the analyses. Findings from the multiple-group analyses for fully-controlled models revealed that the effects of domestic violence at Year 1 on children’s behavioral outcomes at Year 5 varied by poverty and marital status. Regarding the moderating role of poverty status, contrary to the hypotheses, the overall impacts of domestic violence at Year 1 on both types of behavioral outcomes of children at Year 5 were bigger for nonpoor than for poor families. With respect to the moderating role of marital status, the impacts of domestic violence at Year 1 on children’s externalizing behavior problems at Year 5 were bigger for unmarried-mother than for married-mother families. In contrast, the impacts of domestic violence at Year 1 on children’s internalizing behavior problems at Year 5 were bigger for married-mother than for unmarried-mother families. Findings from this study highlight that the effects of domestic violence on the behavior problems of preschool children are long-term, that those effects vary by socioeconomic categories, such as poverty and marital status, and, therefore, that children’s and their mothers’ needs in violent families vary widely as well. Policy, practice, and research implications are discussed.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Jeong Ah Yoo
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.