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Pediatrics. 2013 Dec;132(6):e1577-83. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1020. Epub 2013 Nov 4.

Child exposure to parental violence and psychological distress associated with delayed milestones.

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  • 1JD, Department of Children's Health Services Research, 410 West 10th St, Ste 1000, Indianapolis, IN 46202.



To examine the association between parental report of intimate partner violence (IPV) and parental psychological distress (PPD) with child attainment of developmental milestones.


By using data collected from a large cohort of primary care patients, this cross-sectional study examined the relationship between parental report of IPV and/or PPD and the attainment of developmental milestones within the first 72 months of a child's life. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to adjust for parental report of child abuse concern and sociodemographic characteristics.


Our study population included 16‚ÄČ595 subjects. Children of parents reporting both IPV and PPD (n = 88; 0.5%) were more likely to fail at least 1 milestone across the following developmental domains: language (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-3.3), personal-social (aOR 1.9; 95% CI 1.2-2.9), and gross motor (aOR 3.0; 95% CI 1.8-5.0). Significant associations for those reporting IPV-only (n = 331; 2.0%) were found for language (aOR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1-1.9), personal-social (aOR 1.7; 95% CI 1.4-2.2), and fine motor-adaptive (aOR 1.7; 95% CI 1.0-2.7). Significant associations for those reporting PPD-only (n = 1920; 11.6%) were found for: language (aOR 1.5; 95% CI 1.3-1.7), personal-social (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 1.5-1.8), gross motor (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 1.4-1.8), and fine-motor adaptive (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 1.3-2.0).


Screening children for IPV and PPD helps identify those at risk for poor developmental outcomes who may benefit from early intervention.


child development; computerized clinical decision support; developmental milestones; intimate partner violence; parental psychological distress

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