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The Combined and Independent Impact of Witnessed Intimate Partner Violence and Child Maltreatment

Author: MacDonell, Kathleen Watson

Source: Partner Abuse, Volume 3, Number 3, July 2012 , pp. 358-378(21)

Publisher: Springer Publishing Company

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive issue, generating startling facts regarding its detrimental societal effects. There is also considerable overlap between witnessing IPV and experiencing childhood maltreatment. The current article reviews the state of the knowledge about the short- and long-term impact of witnessing IPV as well as a review of the literature exploring the unique impact of experiencing both IPV and maltreatment compared to witnessing only. Seventy-three articles were included in the present review. Negative outcomes in youth have been reported in both the internalizing and externalizing domains of functioning, in health and cognitive domains, as well as in youth's relationships with family, peers, and romantic partners. The current literature suggests that these negative impacts persist into adulthood. Mixed results, whether there are significant additive effects of witnessing IPV and child maltreatment compared to witnessing IPV only, were found in youth and again into adulthood. Policy implications and recommendations for future research are suggested.
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  • Partner Abuse, a peer-reviewed journal, recognizes that physical and emotional abuse among dating, cohabitating and married partners is as a major public health and social problem in North America and around the world. Its purpose is to advance knowledge, practice and policies through a commitment to rigorous, objective research and evidence-based solutions. In addition to original research papers and literature reviews, the journal welcomes viewpoints and commentaries on the topic of partner abuse, as well as clinical case studies, book reviews and letters to the editor.
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