child abuse; transgenerational patterns; disciplinary attitudes; physical discipline; escalation




According to recent estimates, childhood abuse victims are at 12 times higher risk for child abuse perpetration than those without such abusive histories. This study focused on delineation of the mechanisms by which intergenerational patterns of abuse may occur and, in particular, the role that disciplinary attitudes may play in mediating the relation between disciplinary history and risk for abusive parenting. Participants (n = 459) completed a series of questionnaires to assess childhood history, disciplinary attitudes, and disciplinary practices. Structural equation modeling indicated that the association between disciplinary history and disciplinary responses was partially mediated by attitudes, with more than half of the association between history and responses accounted for by attitudes. These findings support the need for interventions to focus on attitudinal change when attempting to reduce risk for perpetration among those with histories of abuse.


Original Citation: Bower-Russa, Mary. "Attitudes Mediate the Association Between Childhood Disciplinary History and Disciplinary Responses." Child Maltreatment 10, no. 3 (2005): 272-282.

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