Research suggests that child abuse is known to repeat itself from generation to generation. This cycle of abuse can occur when children who 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.
Does Child Abuse and Neglect Increase Risk for Perpetration of Violence Inside and Outside the Home?: A Meta Analysis
Milaniak & Widom (2015)
Psychology of Violence, 5(3)
Examines the likelihood that abused and neglected children perpetrate different types of violence within and outside the home. The article focuses on criminal, child abuse, and intimate partner violence and determine that all forms of childhood maltreatment significantly predict poly-violence perpetration.
Does Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Reduce Future Abuse? (PDF - 221 KB)
Kennedy, Kim, Tripodi, Brown, & Gowdy (2014)
College of Social Work
Examines the effectiveness of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in reducing future physical abuse for physically abusive or at-risk families. The study finds that PCIT appears to be effective at reducing abuse recurrence (particularly long-term physical abuse occurrence), and parenting patterns that perpetuate cyclical abusive family dynamics.
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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 (PDF - 163 KB)
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.