Exposure to Family Violence and Internalizing and Externalizing Problems Among Spanish Adolescents

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Abstract

Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) and child maltreatment may have devastating consequences on children's development. The aim of this research was to examine the predictive associations between exposure to violence at home (witnessing violence against the mother and/or direct victimization by the parents) and adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. A total of 613 Spanish adolescents (13-18 years) took part in this study. Results indicate that psychological victimization by the parents predicted an increase in anxious/depressive symptoms, aggressive and rule-breaking behavior, and substance abuse at Time 2. In addition, rule-breaking behavior predicted an increase in adolescents' substance abuse at Time 2. Concerning gender, psychological victimization predicted an increase in anxiety/depression, aggressive behavior, rule-breaking behavior, and substance abuse in boys; whereas in girls, psychological victimization only predicted an increase in anxiety/depression.

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