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



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.