Evaluating preschool children's attitudes and beliefs about intimate partner violence


Few studies have considered how intimate partner violence (IPV) impacts children's overarching attitudes and beliefs about the prevalence and acceptability of aggression. This pilot study included 92 preschool children exposed to IPV who reported on attitudes and beliefs about violence using a new, theoretically driven measure. Findings illustrate that preschoolers were able to respond reliably on this measure, and that most report at least one maladaptive attitude or belief about violence. Maternal posttraumatic avoidance symptoms, increased child aggression, and decreased child self-blame were associated with maladaptive attitudes and beliefs. These findings, although preliminary, indicate that clinicians may need to address both children's individual adjustment following violence exposure as well as their attitudes and beliefs concerning the acceptability of violence in interpersonal relationships. © 2012 Springer Publishing Company.

Publication Title

Violence and Victims