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      Patterns of adjustment among children of battered women.

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          Abstract

          Children exposed to interparental violence have been characterized by an array of psychological problems, but findings regarding the precise nature of these problems have been inconsistent. This study used cluster analysis to determine whether distinct patterns of adjustment could be identified in 228 8- to 14-year-old children residing in battered women's shelters. Five such patterns emerged: multiproblem-externalizing, multiproblem-internalizing, externalizing, mild distress, and no problems reported. This solution was cross-validated in independent halves of the sample and was similar for boys and girls. Differences among the clusters on relevant family and demographic variables were examined, and it was found that the clusters could be distinguished on the basis of the frequency of children's exposure to interparental violence, parent-child aggression, and children's appraisals of interparental conflict.

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          Most cited references28

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          A person-oriented approach in research on developmental psychopathology

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            Predictors and consequences of childhood depressive symptoms: a 5-year longitudinal study.

            A 5-year longitudinal study investigated the interrelationships among children's experiences of depressive symptoms, negative life events, explanatory style, and helplessness behaviors in social and achievement situations. The results revealed that early in childhood, negative events, but not explanatory style, predicted depressive symptoms; later in childhood, a pessimistic explanatory style emerged as a significant predictor of depressive symptoms, alone and in conjunction with negative events. When children suffered periods of depression, their explanatory styles not only deteriorated but remained pessimistic even after their depression subsided, presumably putting them at risk for future episodes of depression. Some children seem repeatedly prone to depressive symptoms over periods of at least 2 years. Depressed children consistently showed helpless behaviors in social and achievement settings.
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              Assessing marital conflict from the child's perspective: the children's perception of interparental conflict scale.

              Guided by Grych and Fincham's theoretical framework for investigating the relation between interparental conflict and child adjustment, a questionnaire was developed to assess children's views of several aspects of marital conflict. The Children's Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale (CPIC) was initially examined in a sample of 222 9-12-year-old children, and results were cross-validated in a second sample of 144 similarly aged children. 3 factor analytically derived subscales (Conflict Properties, Threat, Self-Blame) demonstrated acceptable levels of internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The validity of the Conflict Properties scale was supported by significant relations with parent reports of conflict and indices of child adjustment; the Threat and Self-Blame scales correlated with children's responses to specific conflict vignettes. The CPIC thus appears to be a promising instrument for assessing perceived marital conflict, and several issues regarding its interpretation are discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
                Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-2117
                0022-006X
                February 2000
                February 2000
                : 68
                : 1
                : 84-94
                Article
                10.1037/0022-006X.68.1.84
                10710843
                96e4d430-af22-4d6f-8767-d1b71f94683d
                © 2000
                History

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