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Child exposure to domestic violence, social factors and wellbeing in young people

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dc.contributor.advisor Muldoon, Orla T.
dc.contributor.advisor O'Donnell, Aisling T. Naughton, Catherine M. 2017-09-18T11:51:59Z 2017-09-18T11:51:59Z 2017
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Domestic violence (DV) is a pervasive worldwide problem. Growing up in a home affected by DV has been established as a complex trauma (Marigold, 2011) and as such may have negative consequences for children’s cognitive, emotional, behavioural and social functioning (Holt, 2008). However, meta-analyses show not only variations in outcomes within studies, as not all children are impacted equally (Kitzmann, 2003) but also an inconsistency in findings between studies, which may be attributed to methodological issues (Haselschwerdt, 2014). The overall objective of this thesis research was to address these concerns. The first study (Paper 1) is based on an online survey of students (n = 465) aged 17-25 years. Applying a social identity perspective, findings highlight the beneficial effects of having a strong family identification for such young people. However, as those who reported the highest level of exposure also reported the lowest level of family identification, those most in need of this beneficial psychological resource are least likely to access it. The second study is based on face-to-face interviews with 14 young people who grew up in homes affected by DV. This study aimed to analysis how young people understood and therefore construct their exposure to DV. Findings suggest that such constructions depend on the type of DV, which occurred in their home. The occurrence of physical DV was recognised as DV and facilitated help-seeking, however the occurrence of psychological DV was not labelled as DV and therefore led to ambiguity and confusion. Similarly, while the occurrence of extreme incidence of physical DV facilitated discussions on DV with mothers; this was not the case when psychological DV occurred. The third study, based on the quantitative dataset (study 1) evidenced the presence of two discrete yet inter-correlated dimensions of exposure to DV; namely psychological and physical DV. Significantly, findings verified the psychological dimension as the main driver in the reduction in psychological wellbeing, with exposure to the physical dimension contributing no additional impact. We also found that those reporting high levels of exposure to the psychological DV fared better in terms of social support when they also reported coexisting exposure to high (as opposed to low) levels of physical DV. The analytic focus of study four shifts from a micro to a macro level. A discursive analysis of interviews explored Irish Family Law Judges constructions of the relevance of child exposure to DV for their child custody decision-making. The findings suggest that Judges’ discourses were shaped by an idealisation of the nuclear family unit. Judges’ talk normalised, ignored or trivialised DV, rendering child exposure to DV as irrelevant to child custody and access to decision making. The thesis research provides nuanced insights to the child exposure literature and had implications for policy and practice as will be discusses throughout the thesis. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject domestic violence en_US
dc.subject child exposure en_US
dc.subject social factors en_US
dc.subject well being en_US
dc.title Child exposure to domestic violence, social factors and wellbeing in young people en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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