Children exposed to intimate partner violence: Identifying differential effects of family environment on children's trauma and psychopathology symptoms through regression mixture models

Shelby Elaine McDonald, Sunny Shin, Rosalie Corona, Anna Maternick, Sandra A. Graham-Bermann, Frank R. Ascione, James Herbert Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The majority of analytic approaches aimed at understanding the influence of environmental context on children's socioemotional adjustment assume comparable effects of contextual risk and protective factors for all children. Using self-reported data from 289 maternal caregiver-child dyads, we examined the degree to which there are differential effects of severity of intimate partner violence (IPV) exposure, yearly household income, and number of children in the family on posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTS) and psychopathology symptoms (i.e., internalizing and externalizing problems) among school-age children between the ages of 7-12 years. A regression mixture model identified three latent classes that were primarily distinguished by differential effects of IPV exposure severity on PTS and psychopathology symptoms: (1) asymptomatic with low sensitivity to environmental factors (66% of children), (2) maladjusted with moderate sensitivity (24%), and (3) highly maladjusted with high sensitivity (10%). Children with mothers who had higher levels of education were more likely to be in the maladjusted with moderate sensitivity group than the asymptomatic with low sensitivity group. Latino children were less likely to be in both maladjusted groups compared to the asymptomatic group. Overall, the findings suggest differential effects of family environmental factors on PTS and psychopathology symptoms among children exposed to IPV. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume58
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • Adjustment
  • Children
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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