Child abuse and neglect : the international journal.
The effects of both childhood and teenage experiences of domestic violence on adolescent-parent attachments were examined. Israeli adolescents (M = 15.9 years) who were either victims of physical abuse, witnesses of physical spouse abuse, victims and witnesses of abuse, or neither victims nor witnesses of abuse were questioned about attachments to their parents using the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment [IPPA; Armsden, G. C., & Greenberg, M. T. (1987). The inventory of parent and peer attachment: Individual differences and their relationship to psychological well-being in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 16, 427 454]. Abuse status 5 years earlier was unrelated to the adolescents current perceptions of their attachments whereas current abuse status predicted the adolescents perceptions of attachment to their mothers. Adolescents who were victims of physical abuse reported weaker attachments to their parents than adolescents who were not abused or who had solely witnessed interparental physical abuse. Attachments to mothers were weaker whether or not mothers were the perpetrators of abuse. These findings suggest that victimization adversely affects children's perceptions of relationships with their parents, but that changes in the exposure to family violence are associated with changes in relationships with parents. These findings suggest that intervention can have positive effects on parent-child relationships despite violent histories.
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