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The effects of exposure to domestic violence and direct child abuse on child and adolescent internalising symptoms

Carter, Bethan 2022. The effects of exposure to domestic violence and direct child abuse on child and adolescent internalising symptoms. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Childhood exposure to domestic violence (CEDV) and direct child abuse (DCA), defined as physical and emotional abuse, are serious health concerns. CEDV and DCA are associated with poor developmental outcomes in children and young people including internalising symptoms (IS; anxiety, depression, somatic complaints, social withdrawal), yet many are resilient. Studies have started investigating the causal pathway between both CEDV and DCA and IS, however much work is needed to understand how CEDV and DCA affect IS, and the best ways to provide support. This thesis aimed to describe the effect of CEDV, and DCA, on child and adolescent IS, and identify factors that protect against IS. Potential protective factors were identified through literature reviews and data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were used to explore the causal pathways between both CEDV and DCA, and IS. CEDV was measured when children were 0-3 years, DCA at 0-3 and 6-9 years, and IS at 6 and 13 years. Controversially there was little evidence that CEDV affects IS at 6 or 13 years. DCA had a statistically significant effect on both child and adolescent IS. There was little evidence that any of the included factors protected against the effect of DCA at 0-3 years on IS at 6 years, but many factors appeared to protect against the effect of DCA on IS in early adolescence. Key protective factors were children’s social skills, positive parent-child relationships, good maternal mental health, and friendships. These findings have implications for practitioners, providing potential assets to explore and include within formulations, and strengths to develop in preventative interventions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Medicine
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 September 2022
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2023 01:30

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