Research suggests that child abuse is known to repeat itself from generation to generation. This cycle of abuse can occur when children were victims of abuse and/or neglect or witnessed violence between their parents or caregivers. The resources below review the prevalence associated with the cyclical nature of abuse and neglect.
Contributing Factors to Child Abuse and Neglect: Possible Adult Contributing Factors
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (2020)
Describes contributing factors that could make a parent or caregiver more likely to abuse children. These include a history of being abused, stress, substance use, mental health issues, and other factors.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Intergenerational Transmission of Child Abuse and Neglect: Real or Detection Bias?
Widom, Czaja, & DuMont (2015)
Assesses maltreatment based on who reports it to child protection agencies: parents, nonparents, and offspring. The article finds that the transmission of abuse and neglect between generations could be ascribed to detection bias targeted at parents with childhood histories of abuse or neglect.
Risk Factors of Sexual Assault and Victimization Among Youth in Custody
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Proposes that risk factors for sexual assault and victimization among juveniles may differ from the characteristics that increase an adult inmate's chance of experiencing such violence. The article examines the associations between youth characteristics and victimization history as they relate to sexual assault and victimization occurring among youth in juvenile detention facilities.
Understanding and Preventing Child Abuse and Neglect
American Psychological Association (2009)
Explains parent/caregiver and family risk factors that contribute to child abuse and neglect, including low self-esteem, experiencing childhood abuse, and joblessness.