This study examined whether the cessation of intimate partner violence (IPV) predicts lower levels of child externalizing and internalizing problems, and whether longer periods of IPV cessation (i.e., 12 months versus 6 months) predicts lower levels of child externalizing and internalizing problems. Mothers and their children aged 7 to 10 were recruited from domestic violence shelters (n = 88) and the community (n = 440). Mothers and children completed measures of IPV at three assessments, each 6 months apart. Mothers and children completed measures of children’s externalizing problems and internalizing problems at the first and third assessment. Families were categorized into groups based on patterns of cessation of any IPV across an 18-month period: 1) no IPV, 2) 12-month cessation, 3) 6-month cessation, and 4) no-cessation. Families were also categorized into groups according to patterns of cessation of severe IPV across an 18-month period. For IPV defined by either any IPV or severe IPV, children in the no-cessation group had more externalizing and internalizing problems than children in the 12-month and 6-month cessation groups. For IPV defined by severe IPV, these group differences remained after accounting for IPV frequency. After accounting for IPV frequency and baseline child adjustment problems, children in the no-cessation group had more externalizing problems than children in the cessation groups. Child age did not moderate findings. Findings suggest that, following exposure to IPV, stopping exposure to later severe IPV is an important indicator for children’s externalizing problems.
Ernest N. Jouriles
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Vu, Nicole, "Does the Cessation of Intimate Partner Violence Lead to Improvements in Child Adjustment?" (2019). Psychology Theses and Dissertations. 13.