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Exposure to parental violence and outcomes of child psychosocial adjustment

Author(s) Ellonen, Noora, Minna Piispa, Kirsi Peltonen and Mikko Oranen
Title Exposure to parental violence and outcomes of child psychosocial adjustment
Source Violence and Victims, 2011, Vol. 28, Np.1, pp 3-15
Date 2011
Document type Journal article
Summary This study explores the consequences of witnessing physical violence at home and the effect on child psychosocial adjustment using a wide range of outcome measures related to the children's health, behaviour and relationship with parents. Data was obtained from the Finnish Child Victim Survey 2008 with subjects sixth-graders, aged 12-13 years, and ninth graders, aged 15-16 years. It was found that the combination of being abused and witnessing physical violence appears to be associated with more serious problems that if the young person had only experienced one such outcome. The results also showed that both witnessing physical violence and personal victimisation are equally harmful. The authors found that children experienced indirect effects from physical violence in the home, such as the family losing cohesion and a lack of parental control. Further research is suggested, particularly separate studies of different age groups and whether gender differences may be apparent in particular age groups.
Keywords Domestic violence; family violence; witnessing violence; psychosocial adjustment.
Topic Domestic violence