© The Author(s) 2018. Children’s appraisals of interparental violence, including appraisals of high threat and low coping efficacy, are robust predictors of behavioral and emotional problems. However, few studies have examined the factors that account for children’s use of these maladaptive appraisals, particularly among children exposed to more severe forms of interparental conflict. The current study examines parent–child relationship quality as a mediator of the effect of intimate partner violence (IPV) exposure on children’s appraisals of conflict. Participants were 118 mother–child dyads (54 girls and 64 boys), recruited from three Midwestern counties. Consistent with previous reports, child exposure to IPV, as reported by children’s mothers, predicted higher threat and lower coping efficacy appraisals. In addition, mediation analyses showed child reports of parent–child relationship quality mediated the association between IPV and coping efficacy, but not the effects of IPV on threat appraisals. The role of parent–child relationships in shaping cognitive appraisals in the context of IPV exposure can have implications for prevention and intervention efforts as well as public policy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Applied Psychology