Factors Affecting the Adjustment of Children from Maritally Violent Homes : An Exploratory Analysis Focusing on Children Living in Shelters for Battered Women

아내폭력가정 자녀의 적응에 영향을 미치는 요인들 : 쉼터 거주 아동을 중심으로

  • Published : 2003.11.30


This study sought to explore factors affecting the adjustment of children living in shelters for battered women. Specifically, the impact of domestic violence on children's internal and external adjustment was examined using data from two samples: children who were exposed to marital violence and those who did not have violent experience. Likewise, this study identified the variables that distinguished the "resilient" children from the maladjusted group. The pathways by which protective factors considerably affected children's adjustment were also investigated. A total of 72 children in a women's shelter and their mothers and 76 children in nonviolent homes and their mothers were considered. ANOVA, logistic regression models, and path analysis were employed to process the data. Results revealed that children of battered women demonstrated a high frequency of aggressive and delinquent behaviors and had poor academic achievement and depressive mood compared to children coming from nonviolent homes. Likewise, children who were exposed to marital violence and were physically abused themselves were more likely show aggressive or delinquent behaviors compared to those who only witnessed marital violence. In addition, social support was found to be a protective factor in academic achievement. Predictors of delinquent behavior included the mother's education and income as well as the children's age and social support. Factors related to children's self-esteem included the social support and the mother's self-esteem. Moreover, woman battering has a direct effect on children's adjustment as well as indirect effect through children's academic achievement and self-esteem. Finally, woman battering indirectly affected children's academic achievement through the mother's depression or the child's social support. Based on these findings, practical implications of enhancing children's adjustment were discussed.


family violence;woman battering;adjustment;resiliency;protective factor;academic achievement;social support;self-esteem;depression;path analysis