Post-traumatic stress symptoms in siblings exposed to intimate partner violence: the role of mother-child relationships

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Stewart-Tufescu, Ashley
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It is well documented that exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) negatively affects children’s developmental outcomes (Chan & Yeung, 2009; Evans, Davies & DiLillo, 2008) and may lead to the expression of symptomatology consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (Graham-Bermann, De Voe, Mattis, Lynch & Thomas, 2006; Kilpatrick & Williams,1998). Currently there is no consensus as to the nature of the influence of mother-child relationships on child outcomes such as post-traumatic stress symptoms in IPV-exposed families. The present study examined the role of maternal influences, such as the quality of mother-child interaction, maternal depression, and maternal violence history on sibling trauma outcomes. Results indicated that increased maternal depressive symptoms, maternal violence history, and negative mother-child interactions did not significantly predict post-traumatic stress symptoms in siblings exposed to IPV. Findings provided support for the notion of maternal compensatory strategies used to protect siblings from the detrimental consequences of IPV exposure.
Sibling trauma, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), Children and trauma, Mother-child relationships, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mother-child interactions