Posttraumatic stress, clinical dysfunction, behavioral and emotional disorders--these are but a few of the problems faced by children encountering violence within the home. Until recently, however, most studies on spousal abuse have focused on adults, not children. Now, in Children of Battered Women, three distinguished researchers offer a detailed examination of what is perhaps the darkest side of family violence.
After presenting a brief historical perspective, the authors consider the devastating impact of family violence on children, the links between violence and spouse abuse on child development and clinical dysfunction, children's views of violence, and strategies for intervention and prevention. Several key topics are addressed including methods for assessing children and families, obstacles of identifying children, the roles of institutions and service agencies (including shelters), the courts, and the schools. The authors weave poignant cases, conceptual models of abuse and dysfunction, and empirical research to portray the scope of the problem. In addition to a review of several intervention strategies, the authors offer details on an intervention they have developed.
The scholarship and sensitivity with which the topic is approached make this book an invaluable tool for researchers and practitioners working with these children. As such, psychologists, social workers, mental health professionals, lawyers, and policymakers will benefit from this impressive volume.
"Children of Battered Women gives an informative look at the effects of domestic violence, intervention strategies, and preventative strategies. Educators, parents, and professional service workers would benefit from the information presented by the authors of this book."
--Family Violence Bulletin
The first to focus exclusively on the characteristics and the needs of the children of battered women. The authors' longstanding history of work with children who have witnessed violence, attests to the appropriateness of their position as spokespersons on this issue. . . . Children of Battered Women makes a significant contribution to theory and intervention in the field of family violence.
--The Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health
"It usefully organises theoretical aspects around clinical findings in children who, as part of the spectrum of victims and survivors of abuse, form a significant part of clinical practice but often an insignificant part of standard textbooks. Adult mental health workers would find it equally useful as a reminder of the importance of this problem and its relevance to psychological functioning."
--British Journal of Psychiatry
"A useful addition to the literature on domestic violence. . . . Recommended to all those working with families where spouse abuse is an issue."
--Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry Newsletter
"Children of Battered Women successfully presents the latest in theory, research, and practice on the topic. . . . It is of practical use to both academics and practitioners in the area of family violence. It is well documented, synthesizing the research of the past 15 years on family violence as it relates to child psychopathology. . . . Illustrations help the reader to understand the often unique difficulties with which children of battered women must cope. . . . [It] would be a good addition to any clinician's library. In addition it would be useful in clinical social work courses that focus on childhood psychopathology and treatment."
"A brief, straightforward book that both reviews the research to date on children who have witnessed violence between their parents and discusses intervention strategies and primary prevention ideas for working with this population. Insofar as the authors are clinicians as well as researchers, their views are strongly influenced by a clinical perspective, a major strength of this work. . . . A highly useful book that should be welcomed by researchers with a particular interest in this topic but also by anyone who works in a domestic violence shelter or who works with children in any capacity."
--Journal of Interpersonal Violence
"The most outstanding feature of this slim volume is its excellent review of the literature on family violence generally and child witnesses specifically. . . . One could read this volume with little prior knowledge of family violence and understand the dynamics of the violent family quite well. . . . An excellent resource for researchers, educators and clinicians who are concerned with child witnesses of spousal violence. It expands the body of knowledge concerning family violence and draws attention to a formerly overlooked victim of spousal violence: the child who directly or indirectly witnesses the violent act."
--Families in Society
"A welcome contribution to the growing but still meager literature on the effects on children of observing family violence. . . . An important addition. . . . Should generate a lot of research on children as additional victims of wife battering."
--Gloria J. Palileo, University of South Alabama
"The book offers valuable understanding of the plight and service needs of a long overlooked and underserved population--children, the hidden victimes of domestic violence."
--Family Violence & Sexual Assault Bulletin Book Club