A systematic review of children’s perspectives of fathers who perpetrate intimate partner violence

Kristin Rogers, Emily Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) between parents or caregivers can result in lifelong mental, physical, and relational challenges for children. Although the impacts of IPV on children are well documented, the aim of this systematic review was to be the first to synthesize the literature on children’s perspectives of fathers who have perpetrated IPV. Five electronic databases were searched using a string of search terms relating to the variables of interest. In total, 11,40 records were obtained from the database search. Screening based on a strict inclusion and exclusion criteria yielded 24 qualitative articles addressing the perceptions of children concerning fathers who perpetrate IPV. Research capturing the views of children regarding fathers who perpetrate IPV is scant. The current review highlights that children experience a range of feelings about their perpetrating fathers, including fear, anger, hatred, as well as ambivalence and love toward their father and children often have difficulty integrating contradictory experiences of their fathers’ behaviors. Father–child relationships are severely affected by IPV, including their fathers’ use of coercive control, even after the parents have separated. Finally, children’s experiences of their fathers’ attempts at behavior change varied. More research is needed to understand the views of children in this area, with consideration given to children’s developmental stage and the type of IPV experienced. Recommendations for research and interventions for children and families are emphasized further within this review.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalTrauma, Violence & Abuse
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • children
  • experiences
  • intimate partner violence
  • perspectives
  • qualitative

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