Intimate Partner Violence in Rural, Low-Income Communities: Prevalence and Links with Child Competence Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Gustafsson, Hanna Catharina
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Using data from a longitudinal study of families living in rural, low-income communities, the current dissertation explored the prevalence, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) occurring in families with young children. The primary goal of Study One of this dissertation was to characterize IPV occurring in this understudied population. Specifically, this study documented the prevalence, severity, and chronicity of IPV occurring in this high-risk sample, as well as the demographic correlates thereof. Using data from multiple assessments over the first five years of their child's life, this study also examined changes in the prevalence of IPV across this time. Results indicate that IPV was most prevalent around the birth of the target child, and decreased significantly over the subsequent five years. Study Two of this dissertation explored the link between IPV occurring early in the child's life and children's competence, defined here as their ability to regulate their emotions, to effectively interact with peers, and to demonstrate prosocial skills in their elementary school classrooms. Findings suggest that IPV had a modest negative effect on children's competence. This relation, however, was fully mediated by maternal parenting behaviors over the toddler years. Although IPV was associated with both increases in harsh-intrusive maternal parenting behaviors as well as decreases in sensitive maternal parenting behaviors, only harsh-intrusive maternal parenting behaviors predicted child competence, when both dimensions of parenting were considered in the same model.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Cox, Martha
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2013

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