Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 539–556 | Cite as

Dissimilarity in Vulnerability: Self-Reported Symptoms Among Children with Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence

  • Anna Georgsson
  • Kjerstin Almqvist
  • Anders G. Broberg
Original Article


Children with experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) are at risk. Not all children, however, display symptoms, and differences connected to gender and age have been demonstrated. In this exploratory study, children’s own reports of symptoms were used. The 41 recruited children, between 7 and 19 years old, were entered into a group program specially directed toward children with experiences of IPV. These children reported experiencing more symptoms overall when compared with non-exposed children. The relationship to the abuser and children’s symptoms related differently for boys and for girls. Girls who had continued contact with the abusive father described more mental health problems than did other girls exposed to IPV and more than did boys with continued contact. Among children with experiences of custody disputes or other judicial processes, age rather than gender was connected to differences in self-reported symptoms. Younger children with experiences of judicial processes reported more mental health problems than did those with no experience.


Children Self-reported symptoms Intimate partner violence Mental health problems Trauma symptoms 



This study was funded by the Children’s Welfare Foundation and the Crime Victims’ Fund in Sweden. The authors are also grateful to the children and their mothers for their participation in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Georgsson
    • 1
  • Kjerstin Almqvist
    • 2
  • Anders G. Broberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyKarlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

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