Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Cheryl B. McNeil.


Child abuse and neglect (CAN) and intimate partner violence (IPV) are serious public health issues that need to be addressed. In 2005, a reported 899,000 children throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico were the victims of either abuse or neglect resulting in the death of 1,460 children under 18-years-of-age (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2005). In the United States each year, adult women are subjected to over 5 million IPV incidences and which result in the death of approximately 1,300 women (APA, 2005). A meta-analysis of 31 studies conducted by Appel and Holden (1998) examining the co-occurrence of IPV and CAN revealed that these two forms of violence range from 20%-100% co-morbidity with an average of 41% co-morbidity. PCIT is an evidence-based treatment that has both theoretical and scientific support as a treatment to reduce future CAN recidivism and decrease the short- and long-term effects of CAN on children (Borrego et al., 1999; Chaffin et al., 2004; Timmer et al., 2005a; Timmer et al., 2005b, Timmer et al., 2006). Although PCIT has received theoretical support in the literature as a potential treatment for IPV (Borrego, Gutow, Reicher, & Barker, 2008; Pearl, 2008), to date, no research has been conducted that has assessed the impact of PCIT upon IPV. Currently, no studies have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of PCIT in a community-based environment with co-morbid CAN and IPV populations. This study aimed to contribute to the fields of CAN, IPV, and PCIT by evaluating the effectiveness of PCIT with populations who experience co-morbid family violence. Analyses indicated that physical child abuse scores did have a greater decrease from pre- to post-treatment in the PCIT condition compared to the TAU condition, F (2,41) = 12.10, p = 0.00. Furthermore, this study provided some support for the extra benefits of PCIT over standard TAU treatment in terms of increasing parenting skill, decreasing child behavior problems, and decreasing parental stress. It provided preliminary support for providing PCIT in a community setting without additional equipment and rooms. Analyses also indicated that IPV did not have a greater decrease from pre- to post-treatment in the PCIT condition compared to the TAU conduction for male-to-female psychological violence, F (2, 39) = 0.68, p = 0.51, female-to-male psychological violence, F (2, 39) = 1.78, p = 0.18, male-to-female physical violence, F (2, 39) = 0.49, p = 0.61, and female-to-male physical violence, F (2, 39) = 0.93, p = 0.40. However, power and methodological problems made it difficult to interpret the findings. More studies need to be conducted exploring the impact of PCIT upon IPV to more accurately assess this program as a potential treatment for the reduction of co-morbid family violence. Limitations, implications, and future directions are also elucidated.