IS THE ANTISOCIAL CHILD FATHER OF THE ABUSIVE MAN? A 40-YEAR PROSPECTIVE LONGITUDINAL STUDY ON THE DEVELOPMENTAL ANTECEDENTS OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE*

Authors


  • *

    This research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The Cambridge Study was funded by the UK Home Office and the Department of Health. The authors would like to thank Raymond Corrado, Margaret Jackson, Denise Gottfredson, and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this article. Direct correspondence to Patrick Lussier, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby (BC), Canada V5A 1S6 (email: plussier@sfu.ca).

Abstract

This prospective longitudinal study examined whether early childhood risk factors contributed to explaining and predicting intimate partner violence (IPV) in midadulthood. Participants included 202 men from the Cambridge longitudinal study who were in an intimate relationship in their mid-40s. Neuropsychological deficits and the presence of a criminogenic family environment were measured between ages 8 and 10. Antisocial behavior was measured between ages 8 and 18. IPV was measured at age 48 using a self-report instrument completed by the participants' female partners. Perpetration and victimization rates were relatively high; violence was mostly mutual, and men were more likely to be victims than perpetrators. Findings indicate that a criminogenic environment increases the risk of IPV by fostering the development of antisocial behavior and neuropsychological deficits. A link also exists between a high level of antisocial behavior during adolescence and the risk of IPV later in life. The results suggest the presence of both continuity and discontinuity of antisocial behavior as childhood risk factors that increase the likelihood of future involvement in IPV, but the role of these risk factors is modest.

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