History of spouse violence against mother: Correlated risks and unique effects in child mental health

Steve Spaccarelli, Irwin Sandler, Mark Roosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The present study examined mental health risk associated with lifetime occurrence of spouse violence against mother among 303 10 to 12 year-old inner-city children. Maternal report data showed a 30% prevalence rate for lifetime occurrence of spouse violence in this sample. Results of correlational analyses indicated that violence against mother was associated with several other historical risk factors including divorce, parental drinking problems, and incarceration of father. Multiple regression analyses controlling for the effects of demographic and historical risk factors that correlated with violence against mother revealed that violence accounted for significant unique variance in girls' self-reports of conduct problems, but did not account for unique variance in boys' symptomatology. Implications of these results for understanding the effects of violence against mother on children and for the development of empirically based interventions for children in those families are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-98
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1994


  • child mental health
  • interparental violence
  • mental health risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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