Violence toward a family member, angry adult conflict, and child adjustment difficulties: relations in families with 1- to 3-year-old children

J Fam Psychol. 2007 Jun;21(2):176-84. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.21.2.176.


In this study, the authors examined whether witnessing violence toward a family member increases the risk for adjustment difficulties among children in the 1- to 3-year age range, beyond the risk attributable to witnessing nonviolent, angry adult conflict. Participants were 1,152 caregivers of 1- to 3-year-old children, randomly selected from birth records and recruited from the community. Caregivers indicated whether their children had witnessed violence toward a family member and/or angry adult conflict. They also completed a comprehensive measure of child adjustment difficulties. Exposure to violence toward a family member and exposure to angry adult conflict were each uniquely associated with increased risk for adjustment problems. These results emerged after accounting for pertinent demographic variables and for caregiver distress variables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Anger*
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Reactive Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Reactive Disorders / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Connecticut
  • Domestic Violence / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment
  • Risk Factors