Annotated Bibliography: Domestic Violence and its effects on Children
Groves, B.M. (1999). Mental Health Services for Children Who Witness Domestic Violence. The Future of Children, 9(3), 122-132.
This article provides a good introduction for practitioners working with children who witness family violence. The article summarizes the effects domestic violence can have on children such as; aggressiveness, depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and sleep deprivation. The author stresses the importance of proper identification and assessment of children exposed to domestic violence. There are four goals of intervention described in this article: reducing the child’s sense of isolation, helping children to understand their
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Next, the article presents a summary of research results in four major areas of inquiry. First, the magnitude of the problem is explored. A variety of statistics concerning children’s exposure to couple violence are presented. Second, the context of children’s exposure to violence is discussed. The authors make an important point in this section. They specify that "children who witness couple violence are as disturbed as children who are directly abused themselves" (p.5). Third, the direct and indirect effects of witnessing violence are presented. This section includes information on gender differences in witnesses as well as the effects on parenting. Finally, factors related to children’s treatment outcomes are described. The article provides information on five different areas influencing outcomes: severity and frequency of violent events, the content of parental disagreements, the depth of the child’s relationship to the victim and the perpetrator, a parent’s ability to use conflict resolution skills and child involvement in the inter-parental conflict.
The next section of the article suggests clinical implications of the summarized information. These implications are focused around assessment, as well as special considerations for treating children exposed to violence.
A final section presents several examples of treatment programs for adults