Child exposure to parental violence and psychological distress associated with delayed milestones

Amy Lewis Gilbert, Nerissa S. Bauer, Aaron E. Carroll, Stephen M. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between parental report of intimate partner violence (IPV) and parental psychological distress (PPD) with child attainment of developmental milestones.METHODS: By using data collected from a large cohort of primary care patients, this cross-sectional study examined the relationship between parental report of IPV and/or PPD and the attainment of developmental milestones within the first 72 months of a child's life. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to adjust for parental report of child abuse concern and sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Our study population included 16 595 subjects. Children of parents reporting both IPV and PPD (n = 88; 0.5%) were more likely to fail at least 1 milestone across the following developmental domains: language (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3-3.3), personal-social (aOR 1.9; 95% CI 1.2-2.9), and gross motor (aOR 3.0; 95% CI 1.8-5.0). Significant associations for those reporting IPV-only (n = 331; 2.0%) were found for language (aOR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1-1.9), personal-social (aOR 1.7; 95% CI 1.4-2.2), and fine motor-adaptive (aOR 1.7; 95% CI 1.0-2.7). Significant associations for those reporting PPD-only (n = 1920; 11.6%) were found for: language (aOR 1.5; 95% CI 1.3-1.7), personal-social (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 1.5-1.8), gross motor (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 1.4-1.8), and fine-motor adaptive (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 1.3-2.0)CONCLUSIONS: Screening children for IPV and PPD helps identify those at risk for poor developmental outcomes who may benefit from early intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1577-e1583
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013


  • Child development
  • Computerized clinical decision support
  • Developmental milestones
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Parental psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine(all)

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