Exposure to parental conflict and violence in childhood : influences on emerging adults' relationships with parents and perceptions of intimate relationships
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Parental partner-violence (PPV) is any type of physical, emotional/psychological, or sexual violence perpetrated by at least one parent against a partner in an intimate relationship. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (2011), 25.6% of children have witnessed PPV at some time in their lives, and 11.1% had witnessed PPV in the previous year. It is a goal of this study to add to the field of feminism in a manner that provides information about adult children's experiences with witnessing PPV, how they maintain relationships with partner violent parents, and how they perceive romantic relationships. A nationally representative sample of 452 emerging adults (ages 18-25) completed a Qualtrics online survey. Participants responded to survey questions regarding their relationships with their mothers and fathers, perceptions of romantic relationships, and exposure to parental-partner violence. Overall, 73.5% of participants reported conflict and violence perpetrated by fathers, while 96.9% of participants reported conflict and violence perpetrated by mothers. Exposure to father's violence and mother's violence is associated with relationship quality for both mothers and fathers, as well as perceptions of intimate relationships. These results indicate a need to provide resources to adult children who have been exposed to parental-partner violence. This study was funded by the 2015 Jessie Bernard Outstanding Research Proposal Award from the Feminism and Family Studies Section of the National Council on Family Relations.