This investigation used longitudinal data from 181 couples with firstborn infants to test the hypothesis that parents' negative cognitions about the child mediate the effect of domestic violence on risk of child abuse. Analysis of covariance showed that mothers and fathers who experienced domestic violence during the 1st year of their child's life developed a significantly more negative view of their child. Hierarchical regressions showed that the effect of domestic violence on the family's risk of child abuse was mediated by the mother's and father's negative views of the child. Intervention and prevention applications are discussed.
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