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Child Abuse Negl. 2006 Jun;30(6):599-617. Epub 2006 Jun 19.

Intimate partner violence and child maltreatment: understanding intra- and intergenerational connections.

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University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Social Work, Columbia, MO, USA.



The purpose of this study is to assess the extent to which intimate partner violence and different forms of child maltreatment occur within and across childhood and adulthood for a high-risk group of women.


Low-income adult women were interviewed, retrospectively, regarding their experiences with intimate partner violence and child maltreatment in childhood and adulthood, and intra- and intergenerational relationships between multiple forms of family violence were identified.


Analyses demonstrated weak to moderate associations between various forms of violence within generations. Only weak support was found for the transmission of violence hypothesis that maltreated children are more likely to grow up to maltreat their own children. Stronger support was found for the theory of learned helplessness, whereby children maltreated or witness to violence during childhood are more likely to be victimized as an adult.


The results from this study suggest that interventions with children who are identified for one form of victimization should be assessed for other forms of victimization, and interventions should also address learned behaviors or beliefs associated with continued or future victimization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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