Are dual and single exposures differently associated with clinical levels of trauma symptoms? Examining physical abuse and witnessing intimate partner violence among young children

Kathryn Showalter, Susan Yoon, Kathryn Maguire-Jack, Kathryn G. Wolf, Megan Letson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A significant portion of children living in the United States have experienced trauma. Informed by the developmental traumatology model, we explored the effects of physical abuse and witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) on childhood trauma symptoms. This study utilizes a convenience sample of 580 high-risk children between 3 and 12 years who received services from one-child advocacy centre during a 12-month period. We performed a series of binary logistic regression analyses to examine if physical abuse, exposure to IPV, and dual exposure (i.e., both physical abuse and IPV) are distinctly associated with six trauma symptoms, including anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress (PTS), dissociation, anger, and sexual concerns. The results indicated that dual exposure was predictive of all trauma symptoms, except for dissociation. Additionally, physical abuse was associated with PTS, anger, and sexual concerns, whereas exposure to IPV was associated with depression, PTS, and sexual concerns. Research and implications for practitioners working with young children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-447
Number of pages9
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Keywords

  • dual exposure
  • intimate partner violence
  • physical abuse
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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