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Mothers' Parenting Practices as Explanatory Mechanisms in Associations Between Interparental Violence and Child Adjustment

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This article examines maternal parenting behaviors as mediators of associations between interparental violence and young children's internalizing and externalizing symptomatology. Participants included 201 toddlers and their mothers. Assessments of interparental violence and children's symptoms were derived from maternal surveys. Maternal parenting behaviors were assessed during an observational paradigm and coded for hostility, responsiveness, and disengagement. Results indicated that mothers' responsiveness and disengagement mediated associations between interparental violence and children's internalizing (e.g., withdrawn, inhibited, anxious, depressed behaviors) and externalizing (e.g., aggressive behaviors, attentional difficulties) symptoms. The results are interpreted in the context of conceptualizations that underscore how different dimensions of maternal parenting behaviors may play key explanatory roles in understanding associations between interparental violence and children's adjustment difficulties.
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Keywords: CHILD ADJUSTMENT; INTERPARENTAL VIOLENCE; PARENTING; TODDLERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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