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Special Issue "Family Violence"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Catrin Finkenauer

Universiteit Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 1, Room H234A, 3584 CS UTRECHT, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31 30 253 2384
Interests: interpersonal dynamics and relationships, including parent-child relationships, intimate relationships, and friendships; secrecy, disclosure, privacy invasion, trust, self-control, family violence, divorce, and child abuse
Guest Editor
Ms. Yayouk E. Willems

Universiteit Utrecht, Van der Boechorststraat 1, 1081 BT AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31 20 59 84 382
Interests: child development and gene environment interaction, self-control, family conflict, domestic violence, high-conflict divorce

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Millions of people worldwide experience family violence in all its forms (interpersonal violence, child maltreatment, elder abuse, sexual violence). About 275 million children experience child abuse and witness interparental violence every year. One in 3 women in relationships throughout the world experiences interpersonal violence during their lifetime. Beyond the immediate mental and physical harm, exposure to family violence is one of the most important risk factors for physical disease, psychopathology, professional and academic failure, delinquency, substance use, suicide and other adverse outcomes across the life course. Also, exposure to family violence during childhood and adolescence predicts people’s use of violence themselves. Given the high prevalence of family violence and striking figures on associated risks for health and wellbeing, family violence poses a large economic burden and challenge to society and health care.

Despite significant advances, mechanisms explaining associations between family violence and psychosocial problems remain largely unknown, which hinders explaining and predicting family violence and, importantly, hampers the development of effective interventions. Therefore, this special issue is intended to highlight new directions in the study of family violence that set an agenda for research. In this special issue, we are interested in original research, case studies, and review articles examining the mechanisms, interpersonal dynamics, and influence of larger social contexts (neighbourhood violence, war) that give rise to family conflict and violence. We also welcome work that moves family violence to the realm of public health. Topics may include but are not limited to: interparental violence, child maltreatment, parent-child conflict, sibling interactions, intimate partner conflict, high-conflict divorce, and elder abuse. We welcome research from various perspectives and disciplines and will give priority to innovative contributions to any aspect of family violence. The goal of this Special Issue is to form a repository of current and diverse work investigating a diversity of mechanisms and processes giving rise to family violence.

This open access journal is a peer-reviewed and PubMed listed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

Prof. Dr. Catrin Finkenauer
Ms. Yayouk E. Willems
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Family violence
  • Relational escalations
  • Intimate partner conflict
  • Parent-child conflict
  • Relationship
  • Mechanisms
  • Intervention
  • Mental health
  • Interpersonal dynamics

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Family Violence and Self-Control in Adolescence: A Multi-Level Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2468; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112468
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 20 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
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Abstract
Theoretical studies propose an association between family violence and low self-control in adolescence; however, empirical findings of this association are inconclusive. The aim of the present research was to systematically summarize available findings on the relation between family violence and self-control across adolescence.
[...] Read more.
Theoretical studies propose an association between family violence and low self-control in adolescence; however, empirical findings of this association are inconclusive. The aim of the present research was to systematically summarize available findings on the relation between family violence and self-control across adolescence. We included 28 studies with 143 effect sizes, representing more than 25,000 participants of eight countries from early to late adolescence. Applying a three-level meta-analysis, taking dependency between effect sizes into account while retaining statistical power, we examined the magnitude and direction of the overall effect size. Additionally, we investigated whether theoretical moderators (e.g., age, gender, country), and methodological moderators (e.g., time lag between family violence and self-control, informant) influenced the magnitude of the association between family violence and self-control. Our results revealed that family violence and self-control have a small to moderate significant negative association (r = −0.191). This association did not vary across gender, country, and informants. The strength of the association, however, decreased with age and in longitudinal studies. This finding provides evidence that researchers and clinicians may expect low self-control in the wake of family violence, especially in early adolescence. Recommendations for future research in the area are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Violence)
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Open AccessArticle Psychiatric Impact of Organized and Ritual Child Sexual Abuse: Cross-Sectional Findings from Individuals Who Report Being Victimized
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112417
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 25 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract
Organized and ritual child sexual abuse (ORA) is often rooted in the child’s own family. Empirical evidence on possible associations between ORA and trauma-related symptoms in those who report this kind of extreme and prolonged violence is rare. The aim of our study
[...] Read more.
Organized and ritual child sexual abuse (ORA) is often rooted in the child’s own family. Empirical evidence on possible associations between ORA and trauma-related symptoms in those who report this kind of extreme and prolonged violence is rare. The aim of our study was to explore socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the individuals reporting ORA experiences, and to investigate protective as well as promotive factors in the link between ORA and trauma-related symptom severity. Within the framework of a project of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in Germany, we recruited 165 adults who identified themselves as ORA victims via abuse- and trauma-specific networks and mailing lists, and they completed an anonymous online survey. We used variance analyses to examine correlations between several variables in the ORA context and PTSD symptoms (PCL-5) as well as somatoform dissociation (SDQ-5). Results revealed a high psychic strain combined with an adverse health care situation in individuals who report experiences with ORA. Ideological strategies used by perpetrators as well as Dissociative Identity Disorders experienced by those affected are associated with more severe symptoms (η2p = 0.11; η2p = 0.15), while an exit out of the ORA structures is associated with milder symptoms (η2p = 0.11). Efforts are needed to improve health care services for individuals who experience severe and complex psychiatric disorders due to ORA in their childhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Violence)
Open AccessArticle Sexual Violence against Women in Germany: Prevalence and Risk Markers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1613; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081613
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 23 July 2018 / Published: 30 July 2018
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Abstract
Previous research has repeatedly shown that gender-based violence affects a considerable proportion of women in any given population. Apart from providing current estimates of the prevalence of sexual violence against women in Germany, we identified specific risk markers applying an advanced statistical method.
[...] Read more.
Previous research has repeatedly shown that gender-based violence affects a considerable proportion of women in any given population. Apart from providing current estimates of the prevalence of sexual violence against women in Germany, we identified specific risk markers applying an advanced statistical method. We analyzed data from a survey of N = 4450 women representative of the German population, conducted by the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony in 2011. Lifetime prevalence for experiencing sexual violence was 5.4% for women aged 21–40 years (five-year prevalence: 2.5%). Non-parametric conditional inference tree (C-Tree) analyses revealed that physical and sexual abuse during childhood as well as being divorced, separated, or widowed was the most informative constellation of risk markers, increasing the five-year prevalence rate of experienced sexual violence victimizations up to 17.0%. Furthermore, knowing about the official penalization of marital rape was related to a lower victimization risk for women without a history of parental violence. Possible explanations for these findings as well as implications for future research are critically discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Violence)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Cognitive Reframing of Intimate Partner Aggression: Social and Contextual Influences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2464; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112464
Received: 5 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 5 November 2018
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Abstract
Intimate partner aggression violates U.S. culturally-accepted standards regarding how partners should treat each other. Victims must reconcile the dissonance associated with being in what should be a loving and supportive relationship, while being in the same relationship that is personally and deeply harmful.
[...] Read more.
Intimate partner aggression violates U.S. culturally-accepted standards regarding how partners should treat each other. Victims must reconcile the dissonance associated with being in what should be a loving and supportive relationship, while being in the same relationship that is personally and deeply harmful. To manage these clashing cognitions, victims consciously and unconsciously adopt perceptions to reframe their partner’s aggression, minimizing and reinterpreting the occurrence or impact of aggressive acts, and justifying remaining in their relationship. The paper examines the multiple and nested influences that shape such perceptions, including individual, partner, relationship, and cultural factors. Each type of influence is discussed by reviewing previous research and including accounts from women who had experienced aggression. Greater awareness of such perceptions may afford greater control in changing harmful relationship patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Violence)
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Open AccessReview Mothers and Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of Treatment Interventions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091955
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract
Although a growing field, much is still unknown about how different clinical and social care services might improve outcomes for female victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and their children who are indirectly exposed to it. This review sought to characterize the structure
[...] Read more.
Although a growing field, much is still unknown about how different clinical and social care services might improve outcomes for female victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) and their children who are indirectly exposed to it. This review sought to characterize the structure of programs that have been tested and documented in existing literature, and the mechanisms by which change, if any, may occur. Seventeen individual interventions and two follow-ups (n = 19) were included in the review. Findings suggest that a multileveled program of mothers and children working both separately and jointly together across sessions might generate the most successful psychosocial recovery for mothers and children who have experienced violence in the home. The mechanism by which this happens is likely a collaborative one, focused on enhancing the dyadic interaction. This article adds to the growing evidence base on IPV and confirms the positive impact on well-being that programs for IPV victims can have. The evidence-base overall could benefit from testing and replicating a combination of the results found in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Violence)
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