Exposure to Family Violence in Childhood, Self-Efficacy, and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Young Adulthood

Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia*, Niveen Hassan-Abbas, Menny Malka, Shireen Sokar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study aimed to examine the relationship of exposure to family violence (i.e., experiencing parental physical violence [PH] and psychological aggression [PA] and witnessing interparental PH and PA) during childhood and adolescence with posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) during young adulthood. In addition, the mediating role of self-efficacy in this relationship was investigated. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 516 university and college students in Israel (90.7% female and 9.3% male; Mage = 24.9, SD = 2.7). The results revealed that experiencing parental violence and witnessing interparental violence during childhood and adolescence were associated with high levels of current PTSS. The results also indicate that experiencing parental violence was associated with lower levels of self-efficacy, whereas no such significant relationship was found between witnessing interparental violence and self-efficacy. Furthermore, a negative relationship was found between self-efficacy and PTSS. In addition, the results show a partial mediation effect of self-efficacy only on the relationship between experiencing parental violence and PTSS. The findings are interpreted in light of Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory. The strengths and limitations of the study as well as implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)NP9548-NP9575
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number17-18
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • experiencing parental violence
  • exposure to family violence
  • long-term effects
  • posttraumatic stress symptoms
  • self-efficacy
  • witnessing interparental violence


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