Does war contribute to family violence against children? Findings from a two-generational multi-informant study in Northern Uganda

Saile R, Ertl V, Neuner F, Catani C (2014)
Child Abuse & Neglect 38(1): 135-146.

Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
After 20 years of civil war in Northern Uganda, the continuity of violence within the family constitutes a major challenge to children's healthy development in the post-conflict era. Previous exposure to trauma and ongoing psychopathology in guardians potentially contribute to parental perpetration against children and dysfunctional interactions in the child's family ecology that increase children's risk of maltreatment. In order to investigate distal and proximal risk factors of child victimization, we first aimed to identify factors leading to more self-reported perpetration in guardians. Second, we examined factors in the child's family environment that promote child-reported experiences of maltreatment. Using a two-generational design we interviewed 368 children, 365 female guardians, and 304 male guardians from seven war-affected rural communities in Northern Uganda on the basis of standardized questionnaires. We found that the strongest predictors of self-reported aggressive parenting behaviors toward the child were guardians' own experiences of childhood maltreatment, followed by female guardians' victimization experiences in their intimate relationship and male guardians' posttrautmatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and alcohol-related problems. Regarding children's self-report of victimization in the family, proximal factors including violence between adults in the household and male guardians' PTSD symptom severity level predicted higher levels of maltreatment. Distal variables such as female guardians' history of childhood victimization and female guardians' exposure to traumatic war events also increased children's report of maltreatment. The current findings suggest that in the context of organized violence, an intergenerational cycle of violence persists that is exacerbated by female guardians' re-victimization experiences and male guardians' psychopathological symptoms. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Saile R, Ertl V, Neuner F, Catani C. Does war contribute to family violence against children? Findings from a two-generational multi-informant study in Northern Uganda. Child Abuse & Neglect. 2014;38(1):135-146.
Saile, R., Ertl, V., Neuner, F., & Catani, C. (2014). Does war contribute to family violence against children? Findings from a two-generational multi-informant study in Northern Uganda. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(1), 135-146.
Saile, R., Ertl, V., Neuner, F., and Catani, C. (2014). Does war contribute to family violence against children? Findings from a two-generational multi-informant study in Northern Uganda. Child Abuse & Neglect 38, 135-146.
Saile, R., et al., 2014. Does war contribute to family violence against children? Findings from a two-generational multi-informant study in Northern Uganda. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38(1), p 135-146.
R. Saile, et al., “Does war contribute to family violence against children? Findings from a two-generational multi-informant study in Northern Uganda”, Child Abuse & Neglect, vol. 38, 2014, pp. 135-146.
Saile, R., Ertl, V., Neuner, F., Catani, C.: Does war contribute to family violence against children? Findings from a two-generational multi-informant study in Northern Uganda. Child Abuse & Neglect. 38, 135-146 (2014).
Saile, Regina, Ertl, Verena, Neuner, Frank, and Catani, Claudia. “Does war contribute to family violence against children? Findings from a two-generational multi-informant study in Northern Uganda”. Child Abuse & Neglect 38.1 (2014): 135-146.
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