Physical family violence and externalizing and internalizing behaviors among children and adolescents

Lynette M. Renner, Shamra Boel-Studt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Family violence has been associated with various negative outcomes among children and adolescents. Yet, less is known about how unique forms of physical family violence contribute to externalizing and internalizing behaviors based on a child's developmental stage. Using data from the Illinois Families Study and administrative Child Protective Services data, we explored the relation between 3 types of physical family violence victimization and externalizing and internalizing behaviors among a sample of 2,402 children and adolescents. After including parent and family level covariates in Poisson regressions, we found that a unique form of family violence victimization was associated with increased externalizing behaviors among children at each age group: exposure to physical intimate partner violence (IPV) among children ages 3-5, exposure to the physical abuse of a sibling among children ages 6-12, and child physical abuse among adolescents ages 13-18. No form of physical family violence was significantly associated with internalizing behaviors for children in any age group. Including exposure to the child maltreatment of a sibling is crucial when attempting to contextualize children's responses to family violence and providing comprehensive services in an effort to enhance the well-being of all children in a family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-486
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice.


  • Child physical abuse
  • Externalizing behaviors
  • Family violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Siblings


Dive into the research topics of 'Physical family violence and externalizing and internalizing behaviors among children and adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this