• The Effect of Maternal Victimization on Children: A Cross-Informant Study

      Morrel, T.M.; Dubowitz, H.; Kerr, M.A.; Black, M.M. (Spinger US, 2003)
      The impact of maternal victimization on the behavioral, social, emotional, and cognitive development in a group of 206 low-income, predominantly African American children from inner city, pediatric primary health care clinics was explored using mother, teacher, and self-report data. Results revealed that mothers with a victimization history reported more externalizing and internalizing behaviors in their children, compared to mothers who had not been victimized. Maternal victimization history was not related to teachers' ratings of children's behavior, child reports of social competence and depression, or standardized assessments of cognitive development. The relation between mothers' history of victimization and their reports of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems in their children was mediated by pathways through maternal depression and disciplinary practices (verbal aggression). These findings provide evidence for the link between maternal victimization and children's behavior problems. Treatment for victimized mothers that reduces their depressive symptoms and promotes adaptive parenting practices may lead to fewer behavior problems in their children.