Effects of Mother's Parenting Practices on Child Internalizing Trajectories Following Partner Violence

Abigail Gewirtz, David S. DeGarmo, Amanuel Medhanie

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    47 Scopus citations


    Studies of children's functioning following exposure to a traumatic event rarely have investigated change over the weeks following the event, but examining recovery in the short aftermath of a traumatic event is important for understanding vulnerability to subsequent disorder, as well as the potential utility of preventive interventions. Data are reported from a short-term longitudinal study of 35 mother-child dyads over 14 weeks following exposure to an incident of severe intimate partner violence. Using a developmental-ecological framework, we proposed that maternal parenting practices would be associated with children's recovery, and that maternal distress would be associated with her parenting practices. Consistent with hypotheses, observed parenting practices at baseline predicted the trajectory of children's self-reported internalizing problems over the study period. Maternal mental health problems were associated with child depression symptoms, but not with overall child internalizing symptoms. Parenting was not associated with maternal mental health symptoms. Further studies should pay closer attention to the role of parenting in children's adjustment in the aftermath of a traumatic event.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)29-38
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Family Psychology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 2011


    • Children
    • Intimate partner violence
    • Mental health
    • Parenting practices
    • Trauma


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