Maternal experiences of domestic abuse and their effect on the mother’s approach to parenting
evidence and practice    

Maternal experiences of domestic abuse and their effect on the mother’s approach to parenting

Louise Morgan Lecturer, Children’s Nursing, University of Hull, Hull, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise how maternal experiences of domestic abuse can affect a mother’s parenting

  • To identify the styles of parenting that suggest that a mother may be experiencing domestic abuse

  • To be aware of the nurse’s role in safeguarding children and families

Children’s nurses have an important role in identifying and supporting families who experience domestic abuse. Safeguarding guidance is available to direct nurses working with families, children and young people in these situations. However, nurses working with children and families require the knowledge and ability to assess the parenting approach of mothers exposed to domestic abuse to reduce long-term detrimental effects to the child.

The aim of this literature review was to explore research about how maternal experiences of domestic abuse affect the mother’s approach to parenting. A search of healthcare databases was undertaken to identify relevant research. The articles were coded by grouping similar findings leading to the identification of three themes: modelling behaviours; compensating behaviours; and coping and parenting. Modelling behaviours involved mothers learning aggressive behaviours and becoming increasingly violent towards their child. Mothers displaying compensating behaviours were lenient in their parenting or provided positive discipline if the child was female, and those who were identified as coping and parenting had suboptimal mental health with an increase in depressive symptoms.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2020.e1184

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

louisemorgan123@gmail.com

Conflict of interest

None declared

Morgan L (2020) Maternal experiences of domestic abuse and their effect on the mother’s approach to parenting. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2020.e1184

Accepted 26 March 2020

Published online: 16 July 2020

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