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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 92012 Find in a Library
Title: Perspectives on the Intergenerational Transmission of Abuse (From Dark Side of Families, 1983, P 305-316, David Finkelhor et al, ed. - See NCJ-92004)
Author(s): E C Herrenkohl; R C Herrenkohl; L J Toedter
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tests several hypotheses regarding the relationship between an adult's experiences as a child and that adult's own childrearing practices.
Abstract: The hypotheses tested were as follows: (1) parents abused as children will use abusive discipline methods with their own children; (2) that, raised in families subjected to high levels of stress are more likely to use severe discipline methods with their own children; and (3) adults who received little nurturance as children will be more likely to severely discipline their children than will adults who experienced more nurturance as children. The study participants were 399 female heads of households and 130 male heads of households. Child welfare participants included 251 families which had been charged with abuse and 89 from families served for neglect only. The remainder were heads of families with preschool-age children served by various community programs. The interview instrument was designed to examine issues relevant to different explanations for child abuse. One portion of the interview pertained to the discipline practices used by respondents with their own children while the other examined the respondent's experiences as a child. The findings supported the hypothesis that exposure to abusive discipline as a child increases the risk of reliance on severe discipline techniques as a parent. Support was also found for the hypotheses that being raised in a family under stress or experiencing emotional rejection as a child are related to abusive disciplining as a parent; however, the findings also suggest that while abuse and neglect in childhood significantly increase the risk that parents will mistreat their own children, other past and current life stresses and supports can be highly influential in tipping the balance and positively or negatively affecting parenting behavior. Tabular data and 16 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Abusing parents; Child abuse
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