Domestic Violence and the Socioemotional Development of Low-Income Preschoolers
Brenda J. Lohman, Iowa State University
Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, University of Pittsburgh
Christine Li-Grining, University of Chicago
P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Northwestern University
A growing body of literature has documented associations between domestic violence and children’s socioemotional development. Still, the processes by which domestic violence influences the development of young children are not well understood. Using data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study (N = 550), this study examines associations between domestic violence and the socioemotional development of low-income preschoolers over time. Higher levels of domestic violence and changes in reports of domestic violence were linked to worse socioemotional functioning over time. Mothers’ mental and physical health problems partially explained associations between domestic violence and children’s socioemotional development. Furthermore, structured parenting mediated a portion of the association between mothers’ mental and physical health problems and children’s socioemotional development.