Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 221–230 | Cite as

Perceived Social Support as a Mediator of the Link Between Intimate Partner Conflict and Child Adjustment

  • Ashley E. Owen
  • Martie P. Thompson
  • Michelle D. Mitchell
  • Sigrid Y. Kennebrew
  • Anuradha Paranjape
  • Tiffany L. Reddick
  • Gabrielle L. Hargrove
  • Nadine J. Kaslow
Original article


This study examined if mother or child’s perceived social support decreased the emotional and behavioral consequences of intimate partner conflict for 148 African American children ages 8–12. Results revealed that children’s perceived social support mediated the relation between intimate partner conflict and children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. Findings also indicated a mediational role of mother’s perceived social support in the link between both physical and nonphysical partner abuse with children’s internalizing problems. Results from this study suggest that diminished levels of perceived social support associated with intimate partner conflict is a risk factor for psychological problems in children from low-income, African American families. Based on these findings, it is recommended that interventions to address adjustment problems for children exposed to high levels of intimate partner conflict target enhancing the social support of both children and their mothers.


Social support Intimate partner violence Child adjustment Interparental conflict 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashley E. Owen
    • 1
  • Martie P. Thompson
    • 2
  • Michelle D. Mitchell
    • 3
  • Sigrid Y. Kennebrew
    • 4
  • Anuradha Paranjape
    • 5
  • Tiffany L. Reddick
    • 6
  • Gabrielle L. Hargrove
    • 7
  • Nadine J. Kaslow
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of Family and Preventive MedicineEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  3. 3.AtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Diverse Counseling and Psychological Associates, Private PracticeAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Temple University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  6. 6.University of West GeorgiaCarroltonUSA
  7. 7.Department of Educational and Counseling PsychologyUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  8. 8.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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