Exploring the complex links between childhood exposure to intimate partner violence, maltreatment, and self-regulation: A three-wave cross-lagged study
Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) often co-occurs with childhood maltreatment and negatively impacts children's development. While previous research has shown a direct link between these experiences and children's self-regulation, less is known about the potential unique effect and bidirectional associations between them. Objective: The present study aims to investigate the bidirectional effects among maternal IPV experiences, child maltreatment, and children's behavioral self-regulation. Participants and setting: 4,402 participants from three waves of the longitudinal study of the Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) were included in the study. Methods: Cross-lagged path analyses were conducted to examine the longitudinal reciprocal relationships among IPV, child maltreatment, and children's behavioral regulation when children were 3, 5, and 9 years old. Results: IPV exposure at ages 3 and 5 was negatively associated with levels of behavioral self-regulation at ages 5 and 9, even after accounting for physical maltreatment, psychological maltreatment, or neglect. Neglect at ages 3 and 5 was found to be associated with lower levels of behavioral self-regulation at later ages, when IPV exposure was considered in the models. Lower levels of behavioral self-regulation at age 3 were found to be linked with higher levels of psychological maltreatment, physical maltreatment, neglect, and IPV exposure at age 5. Conclusion: This study revealed bidirectional effects between maternal IPV experiences, child maltreatment, and children's behavioral self-regulation. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that exposure to IPV during early childhood significantly predicts long-term behavioral self-regulation difficulties, even after controlling for the effects of child maltreatment.
Child Abuse and Neglect
Zhang, Ying; Shen, Fei; Paredes, Jean; Lindsay, Danielle; Liu, Qingyang; Madre, Nabiha; Penna, Alan; and Morris, Tatum, "Exploring the complex links between childhood exposure to intimate partner violence, maltreatment, and self-regulation: A three-wave cross-lagged study" (2023). Kean Publications. 8.