Psychology, Department of

 

Date of this Version

2-27-2008

Comments

Published in Aggression and Violent Behavior (2008); doi 10.1016/j.avb.2008.02.005. Copyright © 2008 Elsevier. Used by permission. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13591789

Abstract

This study used meta-analysis to examine the relationship between childhood exposure to domestic violence and children’s internalizing, externalizing, and trauma symptoms. Results from 60 reviewed studies revealed mean weighted effect size d­values of .48 and .47 for the relationship between exposure to domestic violence and childhood internalizing and externalizing symptoms, respectively, indicating moderate effects. A larger mean weighted effect size d-value of 1.54 was obtained for the relationship between exposure to domestic violence and childhood trauma symptoms, though this figure was based on only six studies. Moderator analyses for gender showed that the relationship between exposure to domestic violence and externalizing symptoms was significantly stronger for boys than for girls. Further analyses examining age, age by gender, and recruitment set- ting variables revealed no significant effects. Descriptive information obtained from this meta-analytic review suggests that more recent research within this area is beginning to address some of the significant methodological limitations of past research. Recommendations for future research in the area are discussed.