The Relation Between Intimate Partner Violence, Parenting Stress, and Child Behavior Problems

Lynette M. Renner, Shamra Boel-Studt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Parenting characteristics can have a significant influence on how children are affected by family violence. The purpose of this study was to explore the role women's parenting stress plays in the relationship between exposure to physical and psychological intimate partner violence (IPV) and children's externalizing and internalizing behavior problems. Data for this study were taken from three waves of the Illinois Families Study. The final sample included 1,653 children from 805 families. Structural equation modeling analyses were conducted across two developmental stages in order to better understand the unique relationships based on child development. For children ages 6-12 years, parenting stress mediated the relationship between exposure to psychological IPV and internalizing behaviors. No direct or indirect pathways between exposure to IPV and children's behavior problems were found among adolescents ages 13-17. Implications for social service interventions with children and families exposed to violence are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD39148 and K01 HD41703-01) and the Silberman Fund Faculty Grant Program. Administrative data linkages were developed by the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago and survey data were collected by the Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC). L.M.Renner(*) . S. Boel-Studt School of Social Work, University of Iowa, 308 North Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA e-mail:


  • Externalizing behavior
  • Family violence
  • Internalizing behavior
  • Maternal stress
  • Physical victimization
  • Psychological victimization

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