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Nord J Psychiatry. 2012 Sep;66(4):239-47. doi: 10.3109/08039488.2011.624632. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Maternal report on child outcome after a community-based program following intimate partner violence.

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Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



This study examined the perceived effectiveness of a 15-week community-based program for 46 children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) and their mothers.


The primary aims were to describe the children who entered one of the existing community-based programs in terms of behavioral problems and to evaluate the impact of the program on children's general behavioral functioning as assessed by their mothers.


Children's rated behavioral problems (SDQ) dropped following treatment; the effect size was in the medium range. The social impairment caused by the problems decreased as well. The effect regarding behavioral problems was not related to the degree of exposure to IPV or the mothers own changes in trauma symptoms following treatment. Results were analyzed as well at the individual level with the Reliable Change Index (RCI), which showed that the majority of children were unchanged following treatment.


One implication from the study is the need for baseline screening and assessment. About half of the current sample had a clinical symptom picture indicating the need for specialized psychiatric/psychotherapeutic treatment. Furthermore, the reduction in behavioral problems was significant but many children still had high levels of behavioral problems after treatment, indicating a need of a more intense or a different type of intervention.

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