Children Exposed to Interparental Violence: A Study of Portuguese Children from 7-9 Years of Age

Niños expuestos a violencia interparental: un estudio de niños portugueses de 7 a 9 años

Telma Catarina Almeida , Rui Abrunhosa Gonçalves , Ana Isabel Sani

Suma Psicológica, (2022), 29(1), pp. 69-76.

Received 16 October 2021
Accept 21 February 2022


Introducción: La exposición a la violencia interparental es un tipo de maltrato infantil, y está relacionada con mayor riesgo de desarrollo de problemas de salud física y mental. Esta investigación analiza las experiencias de los niños portugueses expuestos a la violencia interparental. El objetivo es explorar la relación entre el conflicto interparental en los niños, sus percepciones sobre las propiedades del conflicto, la amenaza, la culpabilidad y la relación con sus padres. Método: Se ha aplicado el protocolo de investigación a 888 niños portugueses de entre 7 y 9 años, no víctimas (n = 765) y víctimas de la violencia interparental (n = 123). Resultados: Los resultados mostraron que presenciar el conflicto interparental está positivamente asociado a la percepción de culpabilidad de los niños y la percepción de las propiedades del conflicto y negativamente correlacionada con su percepción de la relación padre-hijo. Conclusión: Estos resultados soportan la hipótesis de que presenciar un conflicto interparental está asociado al desarrollo de problemas en niños pequeños. Los resultados destacan la importancia de identificar a los niños que han presenciado el conflicto interparental para desarrollar programas de intervención adecuados.

Palabras clave:
Impacto, conflicto interparental, violencia, niños pequeños, padre-hijo


Introduction: Exposure to interparental violence is a type of child maltreatment linked to a higher risk of physical and mental health problems. This research considers the experiences of young Portuguese children exposed to interparental violence. The goal is to explore the associations between interparental conflict in children, their perceptions of conflict properties, threat, self-blame, and the relationship with their parents. Method: The research protocol was applied to 888 Portuguese children between 7 and 9 years of age, of whom 123 are victims of interparental violence. Results: The results showed that witnessing interparental conflict is positively correlated with children’s self-blame and insight into conflict properties and negatively correlated with children’s insight into the parent-child relationship. Conclusion: These results provide strong support for the hypothesis that witnessing interparental conflict is associated with adverse outcomes in young children. Findings highlight the importance of identifying children exposed to interparental conflict in order to develop appropriate intervention programmes.

Impact, interparental conflict, violence, young children, parent-child

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