Table 1
Determinants of Abuse: Compensatory and Risk Factors

C
o
m
p
e
n
s
a
t
o
r
y

F
a
c
t
o
r
s
Ontogenetic Level Microsystem Level Exosystem Level Macrosystem Level
High IQ

Awareness of past abuse

History of a positive relationship with one parent

Special talents

Physical attractiveness

Good interpersonal skills
Healthy children

Supportive spouse

Economic security/
savings in the bank
Good social supports

Few stressful events

Strong, supportive religious affiliation

Positive school experiences and peer relations as a child

Therapeutic interventions
Culture that promotes a sense of shared responsibility in caring for the community children

Culture opposed to violence

Economic prosperity
R
i
s
k

F
a
c
t
o
r
s
History of abuse

Low self-esteem

Low IQ

Poor interpersonal skills
Marital discord

Children with behavior problems

Premature or unhealthy children

Single parent

Poverty
Unemployment

Isolation; poor social supports

Poor peer relations as child
Cultural acceptance of corporal punishment

View of children as possessions

Economic depression

Reprinted with permission from: J. Kaufman and E. Zigler, "The Intergenerational Transmission of Abuse," in D. Cicchetti and V. Carlson, eds., Child Maltreatment: Theory and Research on the Causes and Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990).