Family violence in traumatized refugee families: A mixed methods study of mother/child dyadic functioning, parental symptom levels and children's psychosocial adjustment

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Research suggests that a parental trauma history may increase the risk of family violence and have a negative impact on parent/child dyadic functioning and on children’s psychosocial adjustment. This study aimed at exploring mother/child dyadic functioning, and symptom levels in mothers and children’s psychosocial adjustment in a sample of refugee families referred for treatment of family violence (N = 21). The study entailed a mixed methods design consisting of a video recorded mother/child interaction using the structured observation method “the Marschak Interaction Method” and questionnaires. Children’s psychosocial adjustment was measured using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Mothers’ symptom levels were measured by the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and The Hopkins Symptom CheckList-25. Mother/child dyadic functioning was measured by the Marschak Interaction Method Rating System (MIMRS), and potential associations between scores on the MIMRS and mother/child symptom and psychosocial adjustment levels were explored using partial correlations. Results reveal that the majority of dyads showed signs of problematic/clearly dysfunctional behavior in one or more of the four domains: Structure, Engagement, Challenging and Nurture. Qualitative analyses of the material revealed a number of distinct ways in which the dyads’ behavior was problematic/clearly dysfunctional. An association between maternal symptom levels and scores on the MIMRS could not be confirmed. An association was confirmed between maternal symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and children’s psychosocial maladjustment. Furthermore, an association was found between scores on the MIMRS and children’s health-related quality of life. Findings from the study have clinical implications and emphasize the need for future research.
TidsskriftNordic Psychology
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)83-104
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - 2020

ID: 232009573