Relations Among Intimate Partner Violence, Maternal Depressive Symptoms, and Maternal Parenting Behaviors


  • This article was edited by Cheryl Buehler.

Center for Developmental Science, 100 E. Franklin St., Suite 200, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8115 (


The authors examined the relations among intimate partner violence (IPV), maternal depressive symptoms, and maternal harsh intrusive parenting. Using a cross-lagged, autoregressive path model, they sought to clarify the directionality of the relations among these 3 variables over the first 2 years of the child's life. The results indicated that, in this diverse sample of families living in predominantly low-income rural communities (N = 705), higher levels of early IPV were associated with increases in maternal depressive symptoms, which in turn were associated with increases in maternal harsh intrusive parenting behaviors. These findings suggest that interventions aimed at improving the parenting of women exposed to domestic violence may want to simultaneously target IPV and depressive symptomatology.