Essay about The Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

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How does domestic violence between parents and parental figures affect the children who witness it? This is a question often asked by Sociologists and Psychologists alike. There have been studies that prove that children who witness domestic inter-parental violence experience mental health problems, issues with gender roles, substance abuse, the committing of crimes and suicide/suicide attempts later in their lives. This paper will explore all five of these 'effects' of domestic violence on children and show that there is evidence of a clear relationship in which increasing parental violence is associated with increasing outcome risks (Fergusson & Horwood, 1998, p.8). When a child witnesses domestic abuse it can have many different…show more content…
(Brescoll & Graham-Bermann, 2000, p.2). Another mental health problem that children who have witnessed domestic violence experience is adjustment problems. There appears to be a wide spread belief that children who witness violence between their parents are at a greater risk of later adjustment difficulties that may include behavior problems (Fergusson & Horwood, 1998, p.3). Young people reporting high levels of exposure to inter-parental violence had elevated rates of adjustment problems by age eighteen (Fergusson & Horwood, 1998, p.1). It is suggested that there are elevated rates of behavioral, emotional, and other problems in children exposed to inter-parental violence (Fergusson & Horwood, 1998, p.3). There seems little doubt that children reared in homes characterized by inter-parental violence were at greater risk of later adjustment difficulties as young adults (Fergusson & Horwood, 1998, p.11). It is quite apparent that there is a link between the witnessing of domestic violence and the mental health problems of the children who witness it. Another common effect on children who witness domestic violence is that they have severe gender role issues. Clearly, children exposed to the abuse of their mothers are at risk for learning deleterious patterns of social behavior and for developing distorted expectations about the appropriate roles of men and women in the family (Brescoll & Graham-Bermann, 2000, p.2). Therefore, children exposed
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