Intimate partner violence, maternal stress, nativity, and risk for maternal maltreatment of young children

Catherine A. Taylor, Neil B. Guterman, Shawna J. Lee, Paul J. Rathouz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. We examined the associations of intimate partner violence (IPV) and maternal risk factors with maternal child maltreatment risk within a diverse sample of mothers. Methods. We derived the study sample (N=2508) from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study. We conducted regression analyses to examine associations between IPV, parenting stress, major depression, key covariates, and 4 proxy variables for maternal child maltreatment. Results. Mothers reported an average of 25 acts of psychological aggression and 17 acts of physical aggression against their 3-year-old children in the year before the study, 11% reported some act of neglect toward their children during the same period, and 55% had spanked their children during the previous month. About 40% of mothers had experienced IPV by their current partner. IPV and maternal parenting stress were both consistent risk factors for all 4 maltreatment proxy variables. Although foreign-born mothers reported fewer incidents of child maltreatment, the IPV relative risk for child maltreatment was greater for foreign-born than for US-born mothers. Conclusions. Further integration of IPV and child maltreatment prevention and intervention efforts is warranted; such efforts must carefully balance the needs of adult and child victims.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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