The Mental Health of Children Who Witness Domestic Violence

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Introduction
oStudy on a child’s mental health that has witnessed domestic violence. oThere have been many studies that have been focused on a child being a victim of domestic violence but not many that deal with actually witnessing domestic violence. oChildren do not need to physically see the domestic violence occur oStatistics-

approximately 10 million witness domestic violence in the USA more than 34,000 pass through DV refuges yearly in England and Wales 26% of young adults had witnessed DV at least once between their parents oDV affects a child’s well-being

oPsychological, emotional, and behavioral problems.
oBeen known to show more anxiety and depression
oAre more fearful and inhibited
oMore aggressive and anti-social behaviors
oAre at a higher risk of developing PTSD
oAge and Gender
The younger age groups have more issues than those of older children and adolescents. 1 yr through preschool age show symptoms of physiological and psychological problems Infants have feeding and sleeping disorders

Preschool age are withdrawn, have anxiety, and have fearfulness School age show change in behaviors that affect their performance in school Little agreement on the difference between boys and girls Boys externalize behavior

Girls internalize behavior
According to Becker and McCloskey girls from violent homes are at risk to externalize throughout adolescents McFarlane found that 12-18 years that girls show behavior of aggression and delinquency Males experience sadness while females feel anger

o1. Present the prevalence of witnessing severe DV among a representative sample of children and young people aged 5-16 in Great Britian o2. Examine the socio-demographic, socio-economic and social functioning correlates of witnessing DV o3. To look at the extent to which witnessing DV is associated with conduct and emotional disorders in these young people Methods

oCentralized computerized records from the Child Benefit Register 5-16 throughout England, Wales, and Scotland
o29 children were selected systematically
426 postal sector
oLetter was sent to primary caregiver
oSecond letter sent stressed importance
o1st national survey, mental health
1999 6% opted out 15% refused
2004 9% opted out 17% refused
o6% were ineligible
oCan refuse to answer questions
o21% of parents refuse to take part
o3% could not be contacted
oChild 5-10
Face to face interview with the parent
Questionnaire sent to teacher
oAges 11-16
Parent was 1st interviewed
Child
Questionnaire sent to teacher
o83% of teachers responded
Instruments
oDevelopment and Well-being Assessment (DAWBA)
oDesigned for 1st national survey of child mental health in Great Britian oWas newly structured
oAdded open ended questions
oAbbr. form mailed to teacher
oVignette approach used for analyzing the survey data.
Witnessing DV
oSevere DV PTSD
o3 Categories
Those exp. Directly by the child
Witnessing severe DV
Witnessing other events
Childs physical health
oShown 3 lists of most commonly accruing health problems
Neighborhood-level Socio-economic Characteristics
oClassification of Regional Neighborhoods (ACORN)
Used to measure
56 area types
17 higher level groups
5 top level catorgories
Data Collection Procedure
oBritish office for national statistics
oNeed to collect accurate Quantitative and Qualitative data with the DAWBA oAbout 95% were mothers
o11 and over had private face to face interview
Completed a questionnaire of private questions on laptop Results
o340 witnessed DV according to parents (4.3%)
oWitnessing DV was the most traumatic
Serious accident
Witnessing death of a close family member
Statistical Analyses
oWeighting procedure was applied to data
oWeight was applied to equal out data
oTo match sex/age/region structure
oMissing teacher data
oMultivariate logistic regression...
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