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Associations of Mental and Behavioral Problems among Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence Previously and Visits with Their Fathers Who Perpetrated the Violence

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DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2017.73029    1,312 Downloads   3,962 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: Intimate partner violence has long-term and negative effects on the health of mothers and children worldwide. This study aimed to identify the mental and behavioral effects of past exposure to intimate partner violence among children and examine their associations with the children’s visits with their fathers who perpetrated the intimate partner violence. Methods: A cross-sectional study of women who had been abused by their intimate partners and had one or more children aged 4 - 18 years old was conducted from March 2015 to December 2016. Questionnaires were used to collect (1) demographic data about the mothers and children, (2) information about the children’s visits with the mother’s former partner (i.e., father), and (3) psychological data using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Child Behavior Checklist/4 - 18. Results: The average scores and rates of internalizing, externalizing, and total problems among the children who had been exposed to intimate partner violence were: 10.8 (SD = 10.4), 26 (51.0%); 9.0 (SD = 9.0), 14 (27.5%); and 26.3 (SD = 21.5), 15 (29.4%), respectively. Children’s visits with fathers who were IPV perpetrators were significantly associated with the internalizing (AOR = 12.6, β = 0.56; p < 0.05) and total problems scores (AOR = 17.9, β = 0.48; p < 0.05). Conclusion: Attention should focus on traumatized children exposed to intimate partner violence, and thorough and cautious assessments and decisions regarding visits with their fathers who are IPV perpetrators are essential to safeguard and improve their mental and behavioral health.

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Kita, S. , Haruna, M. , Yamaji, M. , Matsuzaki, M. and Kamibeppu, K. (2017) Associations of Mental and Behavioral Problems among Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence Previously and Visits with Their Fathers Who Perpetrated the Violence. Open Journal of Nursing, 7, 361-377. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2017.73029.

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