The effects on children of witnessing violence : Implications for social work practice

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-79
Journal / PublicationAsia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development
Issue number2
Online published13 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


The study adopted a retrospective design to understand the effects of witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) on children during their childhood and later in their adult life. The study was based on in-depth interviews with 12 adults from Hong Kong who had witnessed violence in their childhood. The respondents were chosen using an available sampling method. Thematic content analysis was used for data analysis. The findings of this study suggest that long-term adverse effects of witnessing violence are not caused simply by exposure to IPV in childhood, but the effects are associated with the social construction of victim identity.

Research Area(s)

  • child abuse, intergenerational violence, social construction, victimisation, witness violence