Although excellent data exist on the overall prevalence of childhood exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV), there is less information available on the specific patterns of IPV exposure in childhood and how they influence adult mental health. The current study examines 703 Swedish adults who reported exposure to IPV in childhood. Participants were part of a large national study on violence exposure. They provided an extensive history of their exposure to IPV and maltreatment experiences during childhood via electronically administered questionnaires. Mean comparison and multivariate regression methods were employed to assess differences in violence severity by reported perpetration pattern (mother-only, father-only, bidirectional or other), the association between violence severity and environmental context, and the contribution of these characteristics to adult mental health outcomes. Overall, violence perpetrated in public and by fathers was more severe and was related to poorer mental health outcomes in adulthood for child witnesses. These findings provide important insight into possible clinical "flags" for identifying children at high risk for exposure to IPV and abuse in the home.
Keywords: Child maltreatment; Environment; IPV; Perpetration patterns; Sweden.
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