Do Child Abuse and Interparental Violence Lead to Adulthood Family Violence?

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Abstract

The cycle of violence posits that victimized children grow up to victimize others. Three forms of the cycle have never been tested: whether exposure to physical victimization and interparental violence additively or interactively increase risk for adulthood (a) child abuse perpetration; (b) partner abuse perpetration; or (c) partner abuse victimization. These hypotheses were tested in a nationally representative data set (1985 National Family Violence Survey) comprising 6,002 participants. Dually exposed, compared to singly exposed, women had significantly increased risk for adulthood family violence. Frequency of family-of-origin violence predicted adulthood child and partner abuse through both main and interactive effects.

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