Child maltreatment in families experiencing domestic violence

Li Ching Lee, Jonathan B. Kotch, Christine E. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the association between physical domestic violence (PDV) and reported child maltreatment in a cohort of children at risk for maltreatment. Participants were 2196- to 7-year-old children and their caregivers. PDV was measured by combining caregivers' self-reports and children's reports, while child maltreatment was based on state Division of Social Services Central Registry records. Among 219 child-caregiver pairs studied, 42 (19.2%) had at least one maltreatment report in the 2 years following the interviews. PDV consistently predicted child maltreatment, with adjusted odds ratios ranging from 2.96 to 3.46. In addition, we investigated interactions between PDV and other predictors of child maltreatment. Among Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) participants, PDV was highly associated with child maltreatment. However, this pattern was not observed among subjects who did not have AFDC. There is an increased incidence of child maltreatment reports in families experiencing PDV. AFDC participation intensified the probability of child maltreatment in the presence of PDV. Findings also suggest that in households experiencing PDV, social supports may protect children from maltreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-591
Number of pages19
JournalViolence and victims
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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