Intimate partner violence (IPV) poses significant health consequences to individuals, families, and society. For women, IPV can negatively influence their individual well-being, parenting, and the parent-child relationship. Researchers have identified a need for IPV interventions to focus on open communication, healthy relationships, creating social support, seeking resources, and developing strategies for both mothers and children to manage and cope with their emotions. The purpose of this mixed methods pilot study was to evaluate a 12-week parent group designed to educate mothers about their children’s experience with IPV and to support them through the healing process. Data were gathered from 15 women who completed the group and answered the baseline, midpoint, and endpoint surveys (11 participated in a three-month follow-up survey and interview). Standardized scales were used to measure women’s self-reports of their mental health and parenting. Open-ended questions were nested within the survey to assess women’s perceptions of the parent-child relationship, parenting satisfaction and competence, and attitudes about parenting. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected at each time point. Women reported improvement in their parenting satisfaction over time; however, no other well-being and parenting measures indicated statistically significant change. The qualitative results revealed the positive impact of group participation on communication, awareness/understanding, and solidarity/strength. The findings reinforce the need to cultivate and strengthen the parent-child relationship as families heal from violence. Researchers should continue to evaluate therapeutic programs and identify components of programs that support the parent-child relationship.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Dr. Cari Jo Clark, Hannah Michel, Martha Wetzel, and Deena Anders for their contributions to the project. We especially thank the women who participated in the study and hope this work honors their experiences. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant UL1TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
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- Domestic violence
- Group therapy
- Intimate partner violence
- Parent-child relationship