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IS THE ANTISOCIAL CHILD FATHER OF THE ABUSIVE MAN? A 40-YEAR PROSPECTIVE LONGITUDINAL STUDY ON THE DEVELOPMENTAL ANTECEDENTS OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE

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Abstract:

This prospective longitudinal study examined whether early childhood risk factors contributed to explaining and predicting intimate partner violence (IPV) in midadulthood. Participants included 202 men from the Cambridge longitudinal study who were in an intimate relationship in their mid-40s. Neuropsychological deficits and the presence of a criminogenic family environment were measured between ages 8 and 10. Antisocial behavior was measured between ages 8 and 18. IPV was measured at age 48 using a self-report instrument completed by the participants' female partners. Perpetration and victimization rates were relatively high; violence was mostly mutual, and men were more likely to be victims than perpetrators. Findings indicate that a criminogenic environment increases the risk of IPV by fostering the development of antisocial behavior and neuropsychological deficits. A link also exists between a high level of antisocial behavior during adolescence and the risk of IPV later in life. The results suggest the presence of both continuity and discontinuity of antisocial behavior as childhood risk factors that increase the likelihood of future involvement in IPV, but the role of these risk factors is modest.

Keywords: antisocial behavior; early onset; intergenerational transmission; intimate partner violence; life-course persistence; longitudinal study; neuropsychological deficits

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.2009.00160.x

Affiliations: 1: School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University 2: Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge 3: Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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