The Impact of Lifelong Exposure to IPV on Adult Children and Their Aging Parents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most literature on exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) has focused on young children. However, adult children, who have witnessed IPV throughout their lives, bear the effects and continue to be affected by their parents' ongoing IPV. The purpose of this article is to explore the "lived experiences" of adult children exposed to their parents' IPV throughout a lifetime. This qualitative study was conducted based on the phenomenological perspective. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 25 adults aged 30 to 55 years. Content analysis yielded four themes: (a) What type of family do I have: Normal or abnormal; (b) Once violent, always violent; (c) Once my parents, always my parents: To care or not to care; (d) What do I take along with me? Reflections over time. These themes are discussed and practical implications are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-461
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • child abuse
  • domestic violence
  • old age
  • trauma
  • witnessing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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