College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-12-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Cecilia Martinez-Torteya, PhD

Second Advisor

Jocelyn Carter, PhD


Children’s appraisals of parental conflict, particularly perceived levels of threat, self-blame, and coping efficacy, have consistently been shown to mediate the association between conflict exposure and maladaptive outcomes. However, few studies have examined factors that may contribute to children’s use of these maladaptive appraisals, particularly among children exposed to more severe forms of interparental conflict. The current study will examine the influence of intimate partner violence (IPV) exposure and parent-child relationship quality on children’s appraisals of conflict, evaluating if these factors have independent effects, if they interact (i.e., parent-child relationship quality buffers the effect of IPV) or if parent-child relationship quality mediates the association between IPV and maladaptive appraisals. Participants were 118 mother-child dyads from a larger longitudinal study of IPV, recruited from a mid-size Midwestern town. Independent multiple linear regressions revealed that IPV predicted worse appraisals for all dimensions examined (i.e., threat, frequency, intensity, stability, coping efficacy, self-blame, content and resolution) and parent-child relationship quality predicted coping efficacy appraisals above and beyond the effect of IPV. Mediation analyses revealed the association between IPV and levels of coping efficacy was significantly mediated by parent-child relationship quality. Findings help delineate the pathways that lead to maladaptive appraisals and identify potential protective factors that can guide intervention efforts for children exposed to IPV.

SLP Collection