Child protection fathers' experiences of childhood, intimate partner violence and parenting

Lee Zanoni*, Wayne Warburton, Kay Bussey, Anne McMaugh

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Research on mothers in child protection families has revealed that they often have a history of childhood abuse. Research has also shown that a considerable proportion of child maltreatment co-occurs with intimate partner violence (IPV) towards the mother. However, there is a dearth of research on the childhood histories and IPV victimization experiences of fathers in child protection families. To address these gaps in the literature this exploratory mixed method study of 35 men associated with a parenting program in Australia investigated fathers' childhood experiences, exposure to IPV and concern for their children's safety. Although this study was conducted with a specific group of fathers screened for serious personal problems, the findings suggest that, similar to mothers in child protection families, there are some fathers within typical child protection populations who have histories of childhood abuse and IPV victimization. In addition, many of the fathers in this study tried to protect their children from maltreatment related to the other parent. The main implication of the findings is that child protection fathers who have histories of abuse and IPV victimization should be afforded the same support and assistance as mothers in similar situations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-102
    Number of pages12
    JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


    • Child abuse
    • Child protection services
    • Childhood maltreatment
    • Domestic violence
    • Fathers
    • Intimate partner violence


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