Longitudinal Study on the Effects of Child Abuse and Children’s Exposure to Domestic Violence, Parent-Child Attachments, and Antisocial Behavior in Adolescence

Sousa, C.,
Herrenkohl, T. I.,
Moylan, C. A.,
Tajima, E. A.,
Klika, J. B.,
Herrenkohl, R. C.,
Russo, M. J.
Published: January, 2011
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume: 26

Issue: 1

These authors examined the unique and combined effects of child abuse and children’s exposure to domestic violence on later attachment to parents and antisocial behavior during adolescence. They also investigated whether the interaction of exposure and low attachment predicted youth outcomes. Findings indicate that youth dually exposed to abuse and domestic violence were less attached to parents in adolescence than those who were not exposed. For those who were abused only or exposed to domestic violence only, the relationship between exposure type and youth outcomes did not differ by level of attachment to parents. However, stronger bonds of attachment to parents in adolescence did appear to predict a lower risk of antisocial behavior, independent of exposure status. Findings suggest that preventing child abuse and children’s exposure to domestic violence could reduce the risk of antisocial behavior during adolescence, as could strengthening parent–child attachments in adolescence. However, strengthening attachments between parents and children after exposure may not be sufficient to counter the negative impact of earlier violence trauma in children. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Cindy Sousa, MSW/MPH, University of Washington, School of Social Work Mailbox 354900, Seattle, WA 98105; E-mail: csousa@u.washington.edu, Website: http://jiv.sagepub.com/content/26/1.toc
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