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NCJ Number: 220189 Find in a Library
Title: Characteristics of Domestic Violence Offenders: Associations with Childhood Exposure to Violence
Journal: Journal of Family Violence  Volume:22  Issue:7  Dated:October 2007  Pages:523-532
Author(s): Amy R. Murrell; Karen A. Christoff; Kris R. Henning
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined differences in the types, frequency, and severity of violent offenses; nonviolent criminal behavior; and psychopathology within a battering population of 1,099 adult males with varying levels of exposure to violence as children.
Abstract: The study found that the likelihood of a person committing violence against someone other than an intimate partner (general violence) increased as the participants' exposure to violence as a child increased. Batterers who were abused as children were more likely to abuse children than those who were not abused as children. Nonviolent criminal behavior did not increase with exposure to violence as a child. The frequency of domestic violence offenses committed increased as exposure to violence as a child increased, and the severity of domestic violence offenses committed also increased as exposure to violence as a child increased. The level of a batterer's psychopathology increased as exposure to violence as a child increased. Possible explanations for these findings are offered. Study limitations are discussed, and recommendations for future research are proposed. The study involved a sample of 1,099 male batterers (85 percent African-American, 14 percent Caucasian, and 1 percent another race or unreported), who ranged in age from 18 to 65. All participants had been ordered by a court to undergo assessment at a domestic violence center between 1998 and 2002. This article describes the instruments and procedures used to measure the generality of violence and nonviolent criminal behavior, the frequency and severity of domestic violence, and psychopathology as evidenced by personality attributes. Participants were assigned to one of four groups based on their exposure to violence as a child (prior to the age of 16): neither witnessed nor were victims of violence as a child, witnessed only, abused only, both witnessed and were abused. 1 table, 3 figures, and 66 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child abuse as crime factor; Child abuse as delinquency factor; Domestic assault; Domestic violence causes; Long term health effects of child abuse; Violence causes
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