Background: Children involved with the child welfare system are a vulnerable population and are often exposed to multiple adversities. Indeed, children living in homes characterized by abuse and neglect may also be at risk of exposure to other forms of family violence, such as intimate partner violence (IPV). For example, a growing literature shows that child maltreatment and IPV co-occur at rates between 30%-60%. Exposure to co-occurring forms of family violence may place children at increased risk for poor behavioral health outcomes, but less is known regarding the specific forms of child maltreatment and IPV that co-occur and whether their co-occurrence differentially impacts children’s externalizing behaviors. Therefore, this study examined the different forms of family violence that co-occur and their relationship to children’s externalizing behaviors across developmental stages.
Method: Longitudinal data of caregiver reports (N = 2,232) of parenting behaviors, experiences of intimate partner violence, and children’s externalizing behaviors from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being II (NSCAW-II) were used. A mixture modeling approach was employed in which latent class models estimated subgroups of children (preschool-age and school-age) who experienced co-occurring family violence and regression models estimated which subgroups of children were at risk of externalizing behavior problems.
Results: Three latent classes were identified: (1) high family violence; (2) situational couple violence and maltreatment; and (3) maltreatment-only. Preschool-aged children classified into the situational couple violence and maltreatment class were more likely to exhibit greater externalizing behavior problems (b = 3.73, p <.05) than children classified into the maltreatment-only class. No significant differences between classes and children’s externalizing behavior problems were found for school-aged children.
Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of using diverse approaches to quantify and synthesize different forms of family violence that may co-occur. The distinct classes of family violence and their differential impact on children’s behavior suggests a need for robust screening as well as a strong prevention and intervention response to address children’s dual maltreatment and IPV exposure. Findings may additionally inform shared parenting approaches in the context of family violence.
So far, divorce involving minor children was unfortunately considered by authorities only as a purely juridical problem and this approach has often allowed a completely different approach according to the Courts. Now scientific research, also making use of animal models, is demonstrating the biological basis of the problem and the indisputable consequences on the wellbeing and health of children. The research cited in this speech were considered able to give a meaningful contribute to four areas: 1- biological effects on animal models health linked to parental separation
2- psychobiological effects on infant health linked to parental separation and other childhood adversities, 3- biological consequences of parental loss and childhood adversities in humans (more in detail: A-influence on hormones like ACTH, Growth Hormone, Oxytocine, Thyroid hormones and TSH. B - Cytokines as Tumor Necrosis Factor and Interleukine 6 -and consequences on a broad range of diseases-. C- Chromosomes and genes D- Immunitary system. E- CRP levels. D- Influence on puberty and height E- Influence on brain structure) 4-comparison between possible effects of shared and sole parenting on child and young adult health (A-conflict B-parental loss C-general wellbeing). The innovative conclusions are that
1-this argument is primarily a question of public health
2- Shared Parenting policies can prevent several childhood adversities and their long term consequences
3- it is necessary to further harmonize practices in this area, such as in the medical world where shared and common guidelines usually exist.
Self-rated health (SRH) is an important subjective health risk and -promotive factor that also early in life impact mortality, morbidity, clusters of multi-morbidity, allostatic load and health care attendance. Among 1225 students in primary high-school (11 and 13 years of age) we set out to examine what family factors that impacted SRH after two years. We performed both temporal causal and residual change analyses with ordinal regression models with SRH reported at three levels. SRH deteriorated during the two years, especially among girls. In all the models we adjusted for sex, age and self-reported family affluence, and we also entered SRH at baseline as an adjusting variable in the residual change analyses. The temporal causal analyses revealed that parental support (positive); parental divorce (negative); the conversational quality with fathers as well as with mothers (positive); exaggerated expectations from parents (negative); and experiencing that opinions from the child were taken seriously in the family (positive) all impacted the SRH statistically significant two years after. Parental control and the amount of contact with the extended family did not influence the level of SRH at the end of the observation time. In the residual change analyses (with SRH at T0 entered in the models) we revealed that parental support (positive); parental divorce (negative); the conversational quality with fathers as well as with mothers (positive); and experiencing that opinions from the child were taken seriously in the family (positive) all impacted the change of SRH during the two years’ observation. Parental control and the amount of contact with the extended family did not influence the change of SRH during the observation time. Exaggerated expectations from parents only had a borderline significant association with SRH change during the two years. The study reveals that SRH is impacted by several family factors during early adolescence. Fathers and mothers are mutually important. Divorce plays a less important role than the quality of the conversations with the child. SRH is an important health determinant. Therefore, promoting good parent-child relations seem an important public health task.
Relevance of the Topic – Current Situation – Challenge – Purpose of the Study: As consequence of separation and divorce, the annual rate of affected children in Germany is calculated as to be as high as 160.000-200.000. Various German and international studies revealed a percentage of up to 70%, in which children lost one parent either substantially or totally, associated with a significant psychosomatic morbidity rate comparable with the one after death of a parent, most recently been reported by Meland et al. (2019). As of now, all over Germany a very heterogeneous procedure after separation and divorce concerning all involved actors led to very heterogeneous outcomes especially with focus on the children´s way ahead, while the role of emotional family violence has only sporadically been investigated. Therefore, the purpose of the presented meta-analysis was to provide an update on studies focusing on the health status of children, but also of parents and grand-parents exposed to emotional family violence to estimate the overall relevance and develop strategies to better prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Material/Methods: All world-wide published (1970-2020) and listed larger studies focusing on morbidity after child abuse with special focus on emotional family violence were screened and assessed with special focus on prevalence and characteristics of psycho-somatic symptoms and prognostic factors. A limited number of studies with appropriate study groups sizes and study designs was found at least covering the morbidity situation in children, why the number of studies on parents and grand-parents was extremely limited. Results: A considerably high prevalence was found in all studies primarily consisting of depressions, inferior self-awareness, eating disorders, cognitive deficits and diminished stress tolerance. Also, the social behaviour was considerably impaired including increased aggression with up to criminal activities, Also, patterns of reinsceneration of own childhood biography of emotional family violence was frequently reported. Conclusion: Exposure to emotional family violence clearly leads to a higher prevalence of psycho-somatic symptoms in children. The study situation on the health status of parents and grand-parents is very limited, however also shows significant symptoms resembling the portfolio of symptoms reported in children. In many cases the work strength is considerably limited up to early retirement due to constant high stress levels. The health-related burden to the overall society including also the socio-economic consequences are assessed to be highly relevant. However, larger studies are required to obtain further details of this highly relevant topic.