The moderating role of parental warmth on the effects of exposure to family violence

Felicity W.K. Harper, Ileana Arias, Amy S House

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Previous research has shown parental warmth to have mixed effects on individuals in violent families. While positively associated with psychological health in some victims, parental warmth has also been positively associated with measures of psychological distress in other victims. The current study examined two models (the "buffering" and "inconsistency" theories) to clarify the effects of parental warmth. The current study also sought to clarify the role of parental warmth within the context of exposure to different types of family violence (i.e., witnessing versus victimization). Results differed depending on the type of violence exposure. Both mother and father warmth were negatively associated with secure attachment and self-esteem in combined victims and witnesses of violence, whereas, mother warmth was positively associated with self-esteem in witnesses of violence. Father warmth did not significantly impact either outcome for witnesses. Parental warmth did not influence either outcome for those who had only experienced victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-367
Number of pages15
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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