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Partner-Abusers as Fathers: Testing Hypotheses About Their Child Rearing and the Risk of Physical Child Abuse

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Children of men who abuse their partners are at risk for behavior problems and physical abuse. Few studies have investigated the child rearing of these men. To investigate the quality of child rearing spouse abusers engage in, a total of 94 fathers of children participated. Fifty-six fathers were enrolled in a batterers intervention program and 39 fathers came from the community. The men reported on their parenting behavior and attitudes, problematic behaviors linked to abuse, and two types of abnormal behavior. Only one significant group difference was found between the violent and the nonviolent fathers. However, across the two samples, men who reported engaging in more psychological abuse had higher Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAP) scores. Furthermore, fathers with elevated CAP scores (all but one were in the batterer intervention group) differed significantly from the other men on seven variables including anger, trauma symptoms, and borderline personality organization. Implications for understanding perpetrators of partner violence and the links to physical child abuse are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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