Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Melissa Lundquist


Domestic violence affects all who are exposed: perpetrators, victims, and the children who witness the violence. It is important to understand how complex domestic violence is to effectively understand the systems that are affected by this crime. This systematic review studied previous research that examined the experiences of children who witness domestic violence and it’s impacts on their behaviors, adjustments, and development. This review was designed to explore the question: What is the impact of witnessing domestic violence on children? Analysis revealed three interrelated themes from these articles. These themes centered on the impacts of witnessing domestic violence on children and included: 1) Dysregulation in cognitive and emotional systems; 2) Impact on behavioral systems: internalizing behaviors and externalizing behaviors; 3) Multi-level perspectives. The findings show that children’s exposure to domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) is extremely prevalent and those children are considered at a higher risk for problems in holistic development. The findings also highlight the importance of identifying the effects of witnessing domestic violence and intimate partner violence. Moving forward, more research is required on therapeutic interventions for children witnesses.


domestic violence, intimate partner violence, children witnesses

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.