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Children exposed to domestic violence: A review and meta-analysis of the empirical research

Corrie A Davies, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Although qualitative reviews of the literature tend to conclude that childhood exposure to domestic violence is associated with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems, not all empirical studies support this conclusion, and the variability in results across studies raises several important questions. This study used meta-analytic procedures to examine the relationship between childhood exposure to domestic violence and children's internalizing and externalizing problems. The results of this meta-analysis indicated that exposure to domestic violence in childhood is systematically related to children's internalizing and externalizing problems. Specifically, mean weighted effect size estimates were a d-value of .46 for the relationship between exposure to domestic violence and externalizing symptoms and a d-value of .48 for the relationship between exposure to domestic violence and internalizing symptoms, indicating a small to moderate effect. Moderator analyses for gender found that the relationship between exposure to domestic violence and externalizing symptoms was significantly stronger for boys than for girls. Additionally, age, age by gender, and recruitment setting variables were examined in moderator analyses. None of these analyses, however, revealed significant findings. Descriptive information obtained from this meta-analytic review suggests that this burgeoning area within family violence research is starting to address some of the significant methodological limitations of past research. Improvements in the methodology of exposure to violence research are discussed and directions for future research are offered. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Davies, Corrie A, "Children exposed to domestic violence: A review and meta-analysis of the empirical research" (2005). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3180798.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3180798

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