Do child abuse and interparental violence lead to adulthood family violence?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cycle of violence posits that victimized children grow up to victimize others. Three forms of the cycle have never been tested: whether exposure to physical victimization and interparental violence additively or interactively increase risk for adulthood (a) child abuse perpetration; (b) partner abuse perpetration; or (c) partner abuse victimization. These hypotheses were tested in a nationally representative data set (1985 National Family Violence Survey) comprising 6,002 participants. Dually exposed, compared to singly exposed, women had significantly increased risk for adulthood family violence. Frequency of family-of-origin violence predicted adulthood child and partner abuse through both main and interactive effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)864-870
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Child abuse
  • Cycle-of-violence
  • Family violence
  • Intergenerational transmission of violence
  • Partner abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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