Children exposed to child maltreatment and intimate partner violence: a study of co-occurrence among Hong Kong Chinese families

Child Abuse Negl. 2011 Jul;35(7):532-42. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2011.03.008. Epub 2011 Aug 3.


Objective: This study assessed the co-occurrence of child maltreatment and intimate partner violence (IPV) and examined the association between them.

Method: The cross-sectional study recruited a population-based sample of 1,094 children aged 12-17 years in Hong Kong. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data from the children. The prevalence of occurrence of child abuse and neglect by parents and exposure to IPV in both the past year and lifetime was examined, and their correlates were assessed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Results: The results show that 26% and 14.6% of child participants had been exposed to IPV physical assault, and 44.4% and 22.6% had been subjected to a parent's corporal punishment or to physical maltreatment from a parent in their lifetime and the year preceding the study, respectively. Among those families characterized by IPV, 54.4% and 46.5% were involved in child physical maltreatment over the child's lifetime and in the preceding year, respectively.

Conclusions: Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that children exposed to IPV were at higher risk of being victims of neglect, corporal punishment, and physical maltreatment or severe physical maltreatment by their parents than children who were not exposed to IPV, even when child and parent demographic factors were controlled for.

Practical implications: The higher risk of child physical maltreatment associated with IPV highlights the need for an integrated assessment to screen for the presence of multiple forms of family violence within the family, and for intervention to assess effective responses to both IPV and child maltreatment by child protective service workers and domestic violence agencies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse*
  • Domestic Violence*
  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult