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Domestic Violence Problem and the Impact on the Children’s Psyche

The problem of domestic violence has always been an ongoing issue for a coherent society. The fact is that due to the disregard of this stigma and the lack of actions aimed at the reduction of its incidence, the problem became extremely sophisticated. In accordance with the relevant statistics, about 25% of households suffer from domestic violence (CDC, 2017). However, the question becomes even more complicated if to speak about children, and the aggressive impact behavior demonstrated by one of the members of a family might have on their psyche.

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In such a way, the research question of this paper is whether domestic violence results in irreversible changes in children’s mentality and psyche and how its negative impact could be mitigated. Therefore, the hypothesis is that children living in households that suffer from domestic violence are more likely to demonstrate wrong or victim behaviors in the future.

Literature Review

Nevertheless, the importance of the chosen issue is evidenced by numerous research works devoted to its investigation. Thus, delving into the question and analyzing the impact domestic violence might have on children and their relations with parents, Swanston, Bowyer, and Vetere (2013) state that the understanding of childhood experiences and coping strategies is the key to the improved comprehension of the issue and the way their psyche alters under the influence of domestic violence.

In other words, a child’s behavior under the impact of aggressive actions demonstrated by one of the parents shows how deep his/her psyche is affected. Having investigated five school-aged children and their actions along with attitudes to the issue, Swanston et al. (2013) came to the conclusion that all participants became reserved and demonstrated undesired behavior and communicative patterns while talking to their parents and peers. In such a way, domestic violence could be one of the leading causes of the appearance of problematic behaviors in children.

Lapierre et al. (2017) support this idea and even go further by stating that children’s victimization is linked to domestic violence and their relations with fathers and mothers. Using data collected from 46 individual interviews, the authors assume that despite all changes that happen in their lives, children still consider their mother’s significant individuals who might influence their decision-making (Lapierre et al., 2017).

However, it could result in the appearance of serious problems with the psyche and would-be relations with women, especially in boys. They will probably demonstrate a lack of trust and other undesirable behaviors. Moreover, if a mother is an abuser and uses force to make children do something, their psyche will be endangered and subjected to a prolonged negative impact as they will not report such actions. Under these conditions, it becomes crucial to provide psychological help to this group of children.

Domestic violence can also be observed in families with more than one child. In such households, the problem becomes even more complex because of relations between siblings and their attempts to find an efficient way to resist violence together. Investigating this sphere, Callaghan, Alexander, Sixsmith, and Felling (2015) assume that children’s understanding of their ability to impact the situation becomes corrupted, and they might suffer from the feeling of helplessness.

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Moreover, siblings can create their own closed world where they will be able to share fears and problems. It will result in the appearance of serious psychological issues and mental disorders. For this reason, the in-time intervention is crucial for the cessation of undesired alterations in the psyche of a child and provides them with an opportunity to become healthy individuals deprived of psychological problems.

Finally, Roark, Knight, Olson, and DeSandre (2016) delve into the correlation between domestic violence and the likelihood of child abuse charges or other deviant inclinations. Thus, using data from 5,148 domestic violence arrests to trace relations between aggressive behaviors of parents and children’s wrong inclinations, the authors come to the conclusion that adolescents who live in problematic families tend to show numerous tendencies toward the deterioration of their attitudes to peers and other children (Roark et al., 2016).

In other words, significant alterations in their mentalities were observed. Having created the model to demonstrate these changes, the authors come to the conclusion that domestic violence could be considered a trigger that promotes the emergence of abusive patterns or significant shifts in priorities in relation to peers (Roark et al., 2016).


Altogether, the given research works demonstrate that domestic violence should be considered one of the factors that result in the appearance of crucial changes in children’s psyche. For this reason, these could be used to prove the hypothesis that emphasizes the role of domestic violence and abuse in cultivating aggressive or undesired behaviors among adolescents. Moreover, investigations show that children’s relations with their parents also become corrupted, which will obviously have an extremely negative effect on the psyche and future interactions with other members of society (Iratzoqui, 2017).

For this reason, the provision of the appropriate psychological help to this category of children becomes the central aim of social services or other agents responsible for the discovery of cases of aggressive behavior in families and their elimination.


CDC. (2017). Prevent domestic violence in your community. Web.

Callaghan, J., Alexander, J., Sixsmith, J., & Felling, L. (2015). Children’s experiences of domestic violence and abuse: Siblings’ accounts of relational coping. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 21(4), 649-668. Web.

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Iratzoqui, A. (2017). Domestic violence and the victim/offender overlap across the life course. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. Web.

Lapierre, S., Cote, I., Lambert, A., Buetti, D., Lvergne, C., Damant, D., & Coutueier, V. (2017). Difficult but close relationships: Children’s perspectives on relationships with their mothers in the context of domestic violence. Violence Against Women. Web.

Roark, J., Knight, K., Olson, H., & DeSandre, H. (2016). Predictors of child abuse charges within the context of domestic violence arrests. Crime & Delinquency , 63(13), 1777-1803. Web.

Swanston, J., Bowyer, L., & Vetere, A. (2013). Towards a richer understanding of school-age children’s experiences of domestic violence: The voices of children and their mothers. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19(2), 184-201. Web.

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