Direct And Indirect Effects Of Domestic Violence On Young Children 's Intellectual Functioning

Direct And Indirect Effects Of Domestic Violence On Young Children 's Intellectual Functioning

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Huth-Bocks, A. C., Levendosky, A. A., & Semel, M. A. (2001). The direct and indirect effects of domestic violence on young children 's intellectual functioning. Journal Of Family Violence, 16(3), 269-290. doi:10.1023/A:1011138332712.

This research study observed the direct and indirect effects of domestic violence on the intellectual functioning of preschoolers. The participants were 100 mothers, ages 19-46, from the general community and their 3-5-year-old children (44 boys and 56 girls). Two research assistants were sent to a family’s home or domestic violence shelter and conducted two hour appointments with a mother and her child. The study required informed consent and would remain confidential and anonymous. The research assistants administered verbal questionnaires (basic demographic information) to the mothers and marked down their responses as well as took note of various aspects of the home environment based on observations. The preschool child was given various instruments that measured their intellectual functioning while their mother was being interviewed. In order to assess the type and severity of domestic violence, a Severity of Violence Against Women Scales was used as a self-report measure where mother’s rated the frequency of each perpetrated act they experienced within the past 12 months. Violence between the parent and child was measured by a Conflict Tactics Scale questionnaire, which identified three ways of dealing with conflict: reasoning, verbal aggression, and physical aggression. A Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment inventory was administered at home while the child was present and measured the following items: 1) Stimulation through toys, games, and reading materials, 2) Language stimu...


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... event (26%), with the father being the most common perpetrator (31%), and the child next to be injured (9%). Based on data compiled from the 10 used websites, it was reported that 25% of the children affected by violence had clinical-level symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and 47% of their mothers had clinical levels of stress that was related to parenting. Children who experience frequent violent events in the household must seek the attention of service providers who aim to break the cycle of violence by meeting the needs of the children exposed to victimization at home. The results of the study indicate that intervention is essential when young children are exposed to violence in order to prevent future emotional and psychological problems that will harmfully affect their development as well as have a negative impact on the caregivers and family overall.

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