Intergenerational Patterns of Child Maltreatment: What the Evidence Shows
This issue brief explores what is currently known about intergenerational patterns of child maltreatment and implications for further research. The brief notes that there is limited research on intergenerational child maltreatment, but existing studies reveal that patterns of abuse and neglect are complex and nuanced. Findings suggest that most parents who experienced maltreatment will not abuse or neglect their own children; however, findings vary depending on how the study was constructed or the types of maltreatment reviewed. When intergenerational patterns are found, the adults who experienced maltreatment are not necessarily the perpetrators in the next generation.
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