Childrearing violence and child adjustment after exposure to Kenyan post-election violence

Ann T. Skinner, Paul Oburu, Jennifer E. Lansford, Dario Bacchini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examines parents' and children's exposure to short-term political violence and the relation between childrearing violence and child adjustment after widespread violence that erupted in Kisumu, Kenya after the disputed presidential election in December 2007. Method: Mothers of 100 Luo children (mean age = 8.46 years, 61% female) reported on their own use of childrearing violence at Time 1, approximately 4 months after the disputed election, and again at Times 2 (n = 95) and 3 (n = 95), approximately 12 and 24 months later, respectively. At Time 2, mothers reported about post-election violence directed at them and about their children's exposure to post-election violence. Children reported about their own externalizing behaviors at Times 1, 2, and 3. Results: Children's exposure to post-election violence was related to Time 2 externalizing behavior, and childrearing violence at Time 1 predicted child externalizing behavior at Time 2. Exposure to post-election violence was not directly related to either childrearing violence or children's externalizing behavior by Time 3, although children's externalizing at Time 2 predicted more childrearing violence at Time 3. Conclusion: These results support earlier work that links childrearing violence and children's exposure to political violence with increases in child externalizing behavior, but examined these links in the understudied area of short-term political violence. Even though sudden and severe political violence may subside significantly in weeks or months, increased attention to long-term effects on parenting and child adjustment is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology of Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Child adjustment
  • child externalizing behavior
  • corporal punishment
  • parenting
  • parenting violence
  • political violence
  • sectarian violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology


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