Objectives: We examined the associations of intimate partner violence (IPV) and maternal risk factors with maternal child maltreatment risk within a diverse sample of mothers.
Methods: We derived the study sample (N=2508) from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study. We conducted regression analyses to examine associations between IPV, parenting stress, major depression, key covariates, and 4 proxy variables for maternal child maltreatment.
Results: Mothers reported an average of 25 acts of psychological aggression and 17 acts of physical aggression against their 3-year-old children in the year before the study, 11% reported some act of neglect toward their children during the same period, and 55% had spanked their children during the previous month. About 40% of mothers had experienced IPV by their current partner. IPV and maternal parenting stress were both consistent risk factors for all 4 maltreatment proxy variables. Although foreign-born mothers reported fewer incidents of child maltreatment, the IPV relative risk for child maltreatment was greater for foreign-born than for US-born mothers.
Conclusions: Further integration of IPV and child maltreatment prevention and intervention efforts is warranted; such efforts must carefully balance the needs of adult and child victims.