Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma

McDonald, S. E., Graham-Bermann, S., Maternick, A., Ascione, F., & Williams, J. H. (2016). Patterns of adjustment among children exposed to intimate partner violence: A person-centered approach. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 9(2), 137-152.


This study examined profiles of adjustment in an ethnically diverse sample of 291 school-age children recruited from community-based domestic violence services. Using latent profile analysis (LPA), six domains of adjustment were examined: social problems, attention problems, internalizing behavior, externalizing behavior, empathy, and callous/unemotional traits. Results of the LPA provided support for three distinct profiles of socioemotional functioning among children in the sample: Resilient (66 %; n = 191), Struggling (28 %; n = 83), and Severe Maladjustment (6 %; n = 17). Variables that distinguished between the profiles included: children’s race/ethnicity, exposure to concomitant animal cruelty, relationship to the abusive partner, and the duration of their maternal caregiver’s experience of IPV. Study results lend support to previous research suggesting differential patterns of socioemotional adjustment among children exposed to IPV.