College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Effects of abuse within violence exposed youth: Desensitization or masked effects?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2015

Publication Title

Journal of Child Custody

ISSN

1537-9418

Volume

12

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

The current study examined the differences in presentation of psychopathology following varying types of maltreatment, including the witnessing of intimate partner violence. Families recruited from a community mental health center specializing in child trauma were asked to complete questionnaires related to multiple realms of psychosocial functioning. Results indicated that the presence of sexual abuse significantly impacted the development of depressive and anxiety symptoms in children; however, this was not observed following other types of trauma. Analyses also revealed significant mediative relationships with respect to family variables. Although findings supported the original hypothesis, it was proposed that, rather than desensitization, these children might be may be explained by cognitive dissonance. More research needs to examine these findings.

DOI

10.1080/15379418.2015.1090297

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