Intimate partner psychological aggression and child behavior problems

Authors

  • Stephanie B. Clarke,

    1. Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA
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  • Karestan C. Koenen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Society, Human Development, and Health and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health and Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
    • Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Society, Human Development, & Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Kresge 613, Boston, MA 02115
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  • Casey T. Taft,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine and Behavioral Science Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA
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  • Amy E. Street,

    1. Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
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  • Lynda A. King,

    1. Women's Health Sciences Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System; Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA; and Department of Psychology, Boston University, Boston, MA
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  • Daniel W. King

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine; Behavioral Science Division, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System; and Department of Psychology, Boston University, Boston, MA
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Abstract

The present study examined the relationship between intimate partner psychological aggression and children's behavior problems in a community sample of families (N = 470 children). The results showed that psychological aggression experienced by the mother has adverse effects on children's externalizing and internalizing behavior problems over and above the effects of physical aggression. The association between psychological aggression and child behavior problems was partially mediated by maternal distress. Exposure to psychological aggression appears to have unique direct and indirect adverse effects on children.

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