A cycle of violence? Examining family-of-origin violence, attitudes, and intimate partner violence perpetration
Exposure to violence in the family-of-origin has consistently been linked to intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration in adulthood. However, whether the transmission of violence across generations is role- and gender-specific still remains unclear. The current study examined the effects of experiencing child abuse and observing parental violence on IPV perpetration among a sample of male arrestees (N = 303). The differential effects of observing violence perpetrated by same-sex (father to mother), opposite-sex (mother to father), and both parents on subsequent IPV perpetration were examined. Logistic regression analyses showed that while observing father-only violence and bidirectional interparental violence was predictive of IPV perpetration, observing mother-only violence and direct experiences of child abuse was not. These findings suggest that the transmission of violence across generations is both role- and gender-specific and highlight the importance of examining unique dimensions of partner violence to assess influences on children. The study further examined whether attitudes justifying wife beating mediate the effect of exposure to violence and subsequent IPV perpetration. Results showed that although attitudes were predictive of perpetration, these attitudes did not mediate the relationship.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Causes and Prevention of Crime