Friday, January 17, 2020: 3:45 PM-5:15 PM
Marquis BR Salon 14, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Violence against Women and Children (VAWC)
Todd Herrenkohl, PhD, University of Washington
Rebecca Macy, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research on family violence has progressed considerably, and mounting evidence, predominately generated in high-income settings, supports a cycle of violence spanning developmental periods and possibly generations. While evidence from longitudinal studies is lacking, findings from cross-sectional studies consistently show that children's direct and indirect exposure to violence and abuse increase their risk for later violence perpetration and victimization, including intimate partner violence (IPV). Studies also suggest this pattern can continue over many years and extend to other adolescent and adult risk behaviors, including drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, and poor health. Still, there is much more to learn about how violence persists within families and extends to other relationships (e.g., relationships among adult partners). More can also be learned about potential mitigating factors that can lessen the likelihood of violence continuing over time and across relational contexts. Additionally, more research is needed to establish how violence exposure overlaps (co-occurs) with other childhood adverse experiences (ACEs) and whether patterns involving violence exposure and risk transmission differ by gender and other demographic factors. Furthermore, a growing body of research is examining whether these associations are consistent across settings, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Finally, identifying whether certain forms of adversity (e.g., physical versus sexual child abuse) relate to the same or similar forms of adversity at different life stages is critical to theory and intervention. Yet, patterns like these are not well understood. This symposium addresses each of these topics by presenting findings from three distinct but thematically similar studies including both cross-sectional and longitudinal data.
The first paper uses general population data from two cities in the northeast U.S. to examine the relationship between ACEs sub-types and IPV sub-types, and assess their differential and cumulative relationships to later mental health. Findings suggest significant relationships between all sub-types of ACEs and IPV, and that exposure increases risk for psychological distress. Cumulative and gender specific effects of exposure were also found.
The second paper uses population-based data to examine the relationship between violent experiences in childhood and IPV victimization and perpetration in adulthood among individuals in South Africa. Findings suggest childhood experiences of sexual violence are associated with adult IPV perpetration for men and women, despite gender differences in reported childhood sexual abuse victimization.
The third and final paper uses data from a 40-year longitudinal study to examine latent classes of IPV perpetration and victimization, as well as harsh parenting practices. Results show considerable overlap in these experiences and that harsh parenting increases in the presence of IPV, particularly when IPV behaviors are severe.
The symposium will include a discussion of how findings relate to enduring questions about gender-based and intergenerational patterns of violence, as well as prevention and risk mitigation to strengthen lifecourse development.
* noted as presenting author