Domestically violent fathers impact children’s social-emotional development: fathers’ psychological functioning, parenting, and co-parenting
In the current study we were interested in exploring whether fathers’ depression, parenting over-reactivity and hostility, parenting laxness, parenting rejection, and co-parenting might mediate the relationship between child exposure to domestic violence and child internalizing and externalizing difficulties. We investigated each variables as a separate mediator in a series of independent mediation models. Participants were 123 fathers with confirmed histories of DV perpetration and 101 comparison fathers without such histories. The outcome variables of child externalizing and internalizing difficulties were measured using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire – Parent Form (SDQ) (Goodman, 1997). Fathers’ depression and hostility were measured using relevant subscales from the Symptom Checklist – Revised (SCL-90-R) (Derogatis, 1994). Fathers’ over-reactivity and laxness were measured using the Parenting Scale (PS) (Arnold, O’Leary, Wolff, & Acker, 1993). The Parental Acceptance and Rejection Questionnaire – Parent Short Form (PARQ) was used to measure fathers’ self-reported warmth toward and acceptance versus rejection of their child (Rohner, 2005). Co-parenting difficulties were measured using the Parenting Alliance Measure (PAM; Abidin & Konold, 1999), a 20-item self-report questionnaire that assesses co-parenting relationship quality.