The role of parenting stress in the link between intimate partner violence and emotionally maltreating parenting behavior
Bradbury, Laura Loucks
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Grounded in family systems theory (Cox & Paley, 1997) and the spillover hypothesis of conflict (Erel & Berman, 1995), the present study examined the unique role of parenting stress in the transmission of conflict from intimate partner violence (IPV) to both observed and self-reported emotionally maltreating parenting behavior. Participants included 60 demographically diverse mother-child dyads (children 8-11-years-old). Results indicated that the relation between maternal IPV victimization and observed, but not self-reported, emotionally maltreating parenting behavior was conditional upon the level of maternal parenting stress, such that higher levels of IPV victimization were related to emotionally maltreating parenting behavior when mothers also experienced higher levels of parenting stress. Indirect effects were not supported in the current study. Findings suggest intervention efforts designed to reduce maternal parenting stress and increase parental self-efficacy might be important in reducing risk for parental engagement in emotionally maltreating parenting behavior in the wake of IPV victimization.