Intimate partner violence and child attachment : A systematic review and meta-analysis

Journal article


Noonan, C. and Pilkington, P.. (2020). Intimate partner violence and child attachment : A systematic review and meta-analysis. Child Abuse and Neglect. 109, p. 104765. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104765
AuthorsNoonan, C. and Pilkington, P.
Abstract

Background
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is associated with increased risk of impairment to a child’s emotional, behavioural, and psychological functioning. Further, the presence of IPV is negatively associated with a child’s attachment to their primary caregivers, which is an additional risk factor for social, emotional, and psychological impairment.

Objective
The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to synthesise the evidence on the association between IPV and the attachment of infants, children, and adolescents to their primary caregiver/s.

Method
A systematic review was completed, in accordance with the PRISMA statement, on IPV and the parent-child attachment of infants, children, and adolescents (18 years and younger). Meta-analyses were conducted to estimate the magnitude of these associations.

Results
A total of 15 studies were included. IPV was significantly associated with less secure child attachment. The pooled effect sizes (Pearson’s r) for both longitudinal studies (n = 5) and cross-sectional and retrospective studies combined (n = 10) were small (r = −.22, 95 % CI [−.32, −.12], p < .001; r = −.10, 95 % CI [−.203, −.001], p = .048). Subgroup analyses identified that the effect size was larger when IPV and attachment were measured during infancy compared to childhood, and when attachment was measured via observational methods compared to self-report.

Conclusion
While the current literature base is limited, findings can inform further research alongside clinical assessment and intervention. It can also help guide attachment- and family-based intervention for families impacted by IPV.

Keywordsintimate partner violence; domestic violence; child attachment; infant attachment; child abuse; meta-analysis
Year2020
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Journal citation109, p. 104765
PublisherElsevier Ltd
ISSN0145-2134
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104765
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85092260940
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-15
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online08 Oct 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted24 Sep 2020
Deposited20 Aug 2021
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8w9yx/intimate-partner-violence-and-child-attachment-a-systematic-review-and-meta-analysis

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