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Children living with domestic violence: research foundations for early intervention
journal contributionposted on 01.10.2003, 00:00 authored by Jennifer McintoshJennifer Mcintosh
The impact of violence between parents or caregivers on a child’s inner world is complex. Over recent years, researchers have gained vital knowledge about the workings of trauma in children induced by family violence. Of particular power has been definitive evidence about the potential for interspousal trauma to disrupt neurological and biochemical pathways in the developing child. From their respective vantage points, clinicians and researchers name the imperative for the early identification of children traumatised by domestic violence, in the service of preventing acute trauma symptoms from becoming embedded in development, at all levels of the child’s functioning. This paper reviews recent evidence about the developmental impact on children of living in violent homes, with the aim of establishing a research-based rationale for early intervention.