180540 Protective influences on children exposed to intimate partner violence

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Martha L. Coulter, DrPH MSW , Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Lianne Fuino Estefan, MPH , Community and Family Health, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) can experience a range of negative behavioral and developmental outcomes. Examining protective influences in the lives of children exposed to IPV is critical in order to develop effective interventions for this population. This descriptive study examines protective influences on the children of participants in a community-based program that provides concurrent legal and social services to families who have left violent situations. Client and child outcomes are measured through parent report on the Global History Questionnaire. Frequency analysis revealed that approximately 87% of children in this sample (n=60) were exposed to at least one form of IPV, including witnessing an assault; overhearing abuse; and being used to intimidate the client. After leaving the violent situation, 78% often felt unsafe, and 70% experienced problems adjusting to financial changes and changes in contact with the abuser. Protective influences on these children included positive relationships adults such as mothers (75%) and grandparents (60%); and other children such as siblings and friends (42%). Participants also reported that children were most attached to these family members in addition to pets. Participation in several activities helped children cope with their situations: faith-based (40%) and after-school (35%) activities, as well as computer and video games (50%). Bivariate and multivariate analyses will consider additional relationships between type of violence exposure, positive influences on the child, and child outcomes. Results indicate that children exposed to violence do experience negative outcomes, and additional attention to developing social support for these children is necessary.

Learning Objectives:
Understand challenges that children exposed to violence face after leaving the violent situation. Explore which protective factors can influence positive outcomes in children exposed to violence. Develop program recommendations for this population.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Project Coordinator and involved in data collection and analysis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.