Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Economic Abuse From Child and Youth Perspectives: A Review of the Literature

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Abstract:  Research has established that the economic hardship caused by intimate partner violence (IPV), including economic abuse, is an important obstacle impeding women from leaving a violent partner. Furthermore, economic violence typically continues post‐separation, also when other forms of abuse have ended. IPV—typically, men’s violence against women—is an issue of direct concern for children, even if the violent behaviour is not directed towards the child. A growing body of research has documented detrimental effects on children’s health, well‐being, and cognitive development when exposed to IPV/domestic abuse. In recent decades, research has also explored children’s perspectives and strategies to cope with being exposed to violence in families. Economic abuse, however, is a form of violence that is seldom studied from a child’s perspective. This article aims to explore existing knowledge on economic abuse from child and youth perspectives, drawing from childhood studies, interdisciplinary violence studies, critical social work, and social policy studies. The research review is divided as follows: (a) findings on children’s direct and indirect victimisation of economic abuse; (b) findings on economic abuse in young people’s intimate relationships and the context of honour‐related violence; and (c) findings on economic abuse concerning parenting, with discussions on possible implications for dependent children. Suggestions for further research are put forward.

Keywords:  child abuse; child maltreatment; coercive control; domestic violence; economic abuse; economic violence; financial abuse; intimate partner violence; young people



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© Linnéa Bruno. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.