Intimate Partner Violence and Child Maltreatment: Understanding Co-occurrence and Intergenerational Connections

Low-income adult women were interviewed regarding their experiences with intimate partner violence and child maltreatment during childhood and adulthood, and intra- and intergenerational relationships between different forms of family violence were identified. Analyses demonstrated weak to moderate associations across multiple forms of violence within generations. Only weak support was found for the transmission of violence hypothesis, according to which maltreated children are more likely to grow up to maltreat their own children. Stronger support was found for the theory of learned helplessness, whereby children maltreated or witness to violence during childhood are more likely to be victimized as an adult. The results from this study suggest that interventions with children who are identified for one form of victimization should be assessed for other forms of victimization, and interventions should also address learned behaviors associated with continued or future victimization.

Publication Date

March 2004

Publication Name

IRP Publications


Lynette M. Renner and Kristen Shook Slack