Date of Award

12-20-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Daniel Whitaker, PhD

Second Advisor

Shannon Self-Brown, PhD

Third Advisor

Laura Salazar, PhD

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public health problem that affects millions every year across the U.S., including families with young children. Children exposed to IPV can suffer consequences such as negative developmental and psychological outcomes and sometimes physical harm. Previous research has found an association between IPV victimization and risk of child maltreatment. In addition to further examining the relation between IPV and child maltreatment risk, this study tested maternal depression and parental stress as mediators and social support as a moderator in the IPV-child maltreatment risk relation. The research was conducted using data from a study of low-income, first-time mothers who were enrolled in a home visitation program. Results show that IPV physical and psychological victimization is significantly associated with child maltreatment risk, and this relation is mediated by maternal depression. These findings provide valuable information for those in the child welfare field, IPV victim advocacy, and home visitation services. A multi-system response should be employed to ensure that services for victims are comprehensive and address all areas of need. This approach is necessary in order to improve outcomes for IPV victims as well as their children.

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