Can a family-focused, transition-to-parenthood program prevent parent and partner aggression among couples with young children?
The need for prevention of children's exposure to family aggression is clear, yet studies have not examined effects of family based programs on both partner and parent–child aggression. This study examined moderated effects of an 8-session psychoeducational program for couples on partner psychological aggression and parent–child physical aggression when the child was 3 years old. A community sample of 169 expectant couples was randomized to intervention and control conditions. Significant program effects indicated reduced partner psychological aggression by fathers and reduced parent–child physical aggression by mothers for couples with frequent preprogram partner psychological aggression and reduced partner psychological aggression by fathers for couples with severe preprogram partner physical aggression. Efforts to prevent children's exposure to family aggression may most benefit couples exhibiting preprogram relationship risk.