The Role of Communication in the Intergenerational Transmission of Violence




Yndo, Monica C.

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The present study examined communication as a mediator in the intergenerational transmission of violence. The intergenerational transmission of violence refers to the theory that childhood exposure to violence within the family of origin predisposes children to experience and/or perpetrate violence in future romantic relationships. However, mixed results indicate a third variable may be mediating the effects between family violence and later IPV. Researchers have sought to identify the mechanism by which the violence occurs across generations. One factor worth investigating is communication. Yet, few studies have examined the relationship between communication and IPV. I used structural equation modeling to examine communication as a mediator in the intergenerational transmission of violence. College students were asked about their exposure to family violence, communication used during conflict with a romantic partner, and behaviors they engage in during conflict with a romantic partner, including threats of IPV, and physical and sexual IPV. Child and adolescent abuse was significantly associated with IPV perpetration, and use of maladaptive communication in students' current relationships; use of maladaptive communication was associated with IPV perpetration. Bootstrapped SEM estimates indicated that maladaptive communication mediated the effect of child and adolescent abuse on later perpetration of IPV. These findings support and extend previous research and have implications for prevention and intervention programs.


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communication, intimate partner violence