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Keywords:

  • abuse of spouse;
  • family health;
  • family needs/relationship;
  • parent–child relationships;
  • social support

Abstract

Although negative outcomes from intimate partner violence (IPV) are not inevitable, IPV is recognized to have profound negative effects on child development. We conducted a qualitative descriptive study of service providers' understandings of the impact of IPV on mothers, young children (birth to 36 months), and mother–infant/child relationships, and of the support needs of these mothers and young children. Service providers suggested that IPV negatively influenced caregiving and identified a pressing need for information and strategies to help mothers promote and protect their young children's development. Although service providers struggled to articulate ideal forms of assistance to promote maternal–infant/child relationships, they agreed that mothers and young children experiencing IPV required more support than is currently available. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 34:192–203, 2011