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The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children’s Development

Davies, Patrick T.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) In John Hamel and Tonia L. Nicholls, Ed., Family Interventions in Domestic Violence. New York, USA: Springer Publishing Company. Pp. 165-189.

“…The objective of this chapter is to address key parameters in the family system that may elucidate the processes and conditions that underlie the risk and variability of outcomes of children in homes characterized by interparental violence. Thoughout the chapter, the main principles of developmental psychopathology will serve as a template for addressing important theoretical and research directions for characterizing associations between domestic violence and child functioning in the broader family system. Within the developmental psychopathology persepctive, associations between domestic violence and child functioning are rough proxies for a vibrant undercurrent of evolving, bidirectional exchanges between the dynamic child in an ever-changing, multilayered constellation of biopsychosocial liabilities and resources in the family. Thus, in the developmental psychopathology approach, the developmental course of each child is to some degree unique because of the specific transactions between their prior and current experiences in family contexts and their own attributes, resources, and histories of adaptation. The derivative assumption, then, is that changes in children’s adaptations and maladaptations can be lawfuly predicted and explained by elucidating the nature of transactions between the child and environment. Figure 8.1 is designed to translate this set of developmental assumptions to the study of children’s trajectories of functioning. The figure specifically portrays a representative but not exhaustive overview of some of the key family factors that are worthy of consideration in further advancing an understanding of how, when, and why children develop psychological problems in the context of domestic violence. For the remainder of the chapter, this figure will serve as an organizational framework for addressing some of the central conceptual and empirical directions in the study of the impact of domestic violence on young children.” (excerpt)


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