Children Exposed to IPV: Impact of Multiple Father Figures

L. Bullock, Sharon Ghazarian, M. Nimer, L. Signing, K. Herbell, D. Farje, J. C. Campbell, P. Sharps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) has been associated with adverse infant developmental outcomes; however, the influence of the number of father-figures (abusive vs non-abusive) has on young infants’ risk for neurodevelopmental delays has not been examined. Procedures: A secondary data analysis was conducted from the Domestic Violence Enhanced Perinatal Home Visits (DOVE) study of abused pregnant women (N = 239) and their infants’ neurodevelopment from baseline through 12-months postpartum. Results: Although all women reported decreased violence from baseline to 12 months postpartum, there was a significant main effect between baseline IPV scores and infant risk for developmental delay at 12 months (β =.19; p <.05) and a significant interaction between baseline IPV scores and multiple partner categories (β =.89; p <.01). Women in the single abusive partner category demonstrated a negative association between baseline IPV and 12-month infant risk scores (β = −.56; p <.01). Whereas women in the mixed and multiple abusive partner groups demonstrated a positive association between IPV and infant risk scores (β =.32; p <.05). Conclusion: This study provides evidence that an infant’s neurodevelopment is impacted by exposure to violence in the home. Additional research is needed to examine the full impact, not only the effects of single and/or abusive partners on child development, but also the possible effect of multiple non-abusive partners on development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1447-1454
Number of pages8
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Abuse around the time of pregnancy
  • Domestic violence
  • Infant developmental delays
  • Intimate partner violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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