Masters Thesis

Childhood trauma and intergenerational transmission of family violence in a court-ordered batterer intervention program

Studies that examine family violence assert that many abusive behaviors are transmitted intergenerationally. Investigations of intergenerational transmissions of family violence it is important to acknowledge that childhood traumatization has a significant role. This study surveyed clients of a court-ordered Batterer Intervention Program to investigate whether these clients had witnessed or experienced family violence in during childhood. The survey collected information on whether the clients’ abuse was part of an intergenerational cycle, whether clients’ children were exposed to abuse, and the effects of abuse behaviors witnessed and/or experienced as children on the abuse perpetrated as adults. Half of the clients surveyed indicated that they had been abused as children. Additionally, strong relationships were found between experiencing and witnessing abuse as children and the perpetration of abuse as adults. Intergenerational cycles were determined to be a factor among that affect men’s and women’s perpetration of family violence.