How does being a victim of domestic violence affect parenting?
This is the question Kempe is researching as part of a systematic review of the literature, a rigorous analysis examining all previous related research in order to synthesize the results.
Leading the project is Dr. Antonia Chiesa, with Kempe and Children’s Hospital Colorado Child Protection Team, who says, “We want to find out if there are residual effects from domestic violence even after the violence stops. “Simply removing the victim from the situation may not limit the impact, ” Dr. Chiesa added.
This project, now in its second year, is the first systematic review conducted at Kempe. Kempe experts from cross disciplines have been involved including a social worker, mental health professionals, pediatricians and doctors. Kempe also engaged leading systematic review expert Dr. Sabine Maguire at the University of Cardiff in Wales to assist with the project.
The process involves sifting through multiple databases to find studies and articles related to this topic and conducting an initial review of every relevant abstract – the team found more than 4000.
After the initial review, the Kempe team scanned 400 full studies to determine if the information was specific to this topic – they found over 100 potential studies.
Next, the research team conducted a critical review of each study to ensure that studies met narrowly defined inclusion criteria. These criteria are developed in order to assess quality of the research and ensure that the study answers the specific question.
“This has been a huge undertaking with many people on our staff spending time outside regular work hours to complete the study,” Chiesa said. “As we examine the research, we are noticing a differences in parenting discipline and research design methods – all of which must be accounted for in our evaluation.” Results are not final as the review is not complete. Preliminarily, it appears that domestic violence victimization may impact parenting. The results of the review will explore how this occurs and the strength of current evidence.
Kempe is in the process of documenting the findings and expects to publish the results of the review in 2016.