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The impact of childhood abuse history, domestic violence and mental health symptoms on parenting behaviour among mothers in Japan.

Fujiwara T, et al. Child Care Health Dev. 2012.


BACKGROUND: To assess the impact of childhood abuse history, domestic violence experiences and mental health symptoms on the parenting behaviour of mothers in Japan who have separated from violent husbands or partners.

METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted on a sample of mothers (n = 304) and their children (n = 498) residing in 83 mother-child homes in Japan. The survey assessed the mothers' childhood abuse history (physical, psychological and sexual abuse and neglect history), domestic violence experiences, current mental health symptoms (dissociative, depressive and traumatic symptoms) and parenting behaviours after moving into the homes to separate from a violent husband or partner.

RESULTS: The mothers' childhood abuse history and experience of domestic violence were not associated with their not playing with their children. In contrast, the mothers' dissociative and depressive symptoms were significantly associated with not playing with their children. Although there was no association between the mothers' total childhood abuse history and not praising their children, their childhood physical abuse history was significantly associated with their not praising their children. The dissociative and depressive symptoms were also associated with no praise. Interestingly, the experience of domestic violence showed an inverse association with no praise.

CONCLUSIONS: Mental health symptoms, more specifically dissociative and depressive symptoms, are associated with a decrease in parenting quality. Mothers who were physically abused as children are less likely to praise their own children, independent of maternal mental health symptoms. In contrast, mothers who experienced domestic violence but subsequently separated from their violent husbands or partners are more likely to praise their children. The treatment of mental health symptoms, particularly dissociative and depressive symptoms, therapy for childhood abuse history and separation from violent husbands or partners might be effective ways to enhance the quality of parenting in Japan.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


21696427 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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