Experiences from conception to age six have the most important influence of any time in the life

Longitudinal Analysis

Mothering and Domestic Violence: A Longitudinal Analysis

Authors

N. L. Letourneau, C. B. Fedick, J. D. Willms

Abstract

The quality of the relationships that parents, particularly mothers, have with their children is a potent predictor of children’s future development. Recent research suggests that mothers of preschool-age children exposed to domestic violence may be more sensitive and responsive to their children than other parents. This heightened sensitivity and responsiveness in relationships may be key to the successful development of some children exposed to domestic violence; however this theory remains unexplored. The Canadian National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth provided a large sample size suitable for longitudinal analysis of the relationship between exposure to family violence and parenting behaviors. Analysis revealed that mothers of children exposed to domestic violence may indeed compensate for exposure to violence in their parenting interactions with their 2- to 12- year-old children.

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