*The full article is available through this link. This article may be available free of charge to those with university credentials.
The effectiveness of a strengths-and community-based support and advocacy intervention for battered women and their children was examined. The study included a longitudinal, experimental design and employed multimethod strategies to measure children's exposure to abuse and their self-competence over a period of 8 months. Maternal experience of abuse and maternal well-being were also assessed. The experimental intervention involved advocacy for mothers and their children and a 10-week support and education group for the children. Families in the experimental condition received the free services of a trained paraprofessional for 6 to 8 hours per week over 16 weeks. Eighty mothers and their 80 children participated in the study. Findings were modest but promising. Children in the experimental condition reported significantly higher self-competence in several domains compared to children in the control group. The intervention caused improvement in women's depression and self-esteem over time. Policy, practice and research implications are discussed.