The association between child exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) and perpetration of IPV in adulthood—A systematic review
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Increasingly recognized as a distinct form of childhood maltreatment, children's exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) has been shown to be associated with an array of negative psychosocial outcomes, including elevated risk for additional violence over the life course. Although studies have identified child exposure to IPV as a predictor of IPV perpetration in adulthood, no review has critically evaluated the methodology of this quantitative work. The present study examines the association between childhood exposure to IPV and the perpetration of IPV in adulthood based on a systematic review of the literature from inception to January 4, 2016. Databases searched included Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Sociological Abstracts and ERIC. Database searches were complemented with backward and forward citation chaining. Studies were critically appraised using the Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. Of 5601 articles identified by the search, 19 studies were included for data extraction. Sixteen of these studies found that child exposure to IPV was significantly and positively associated with adult IPV perpetration; three studies reported null findings. The methodological quality of the studies was low. Work thus far has tended to focus on child exposure to physical IPV and the perpetration of physical IPV within heterosexual contexts. In addition, measures of child exposure to IPV vary in their classification of what exposure entails. We critically discuss the strengths and limitations of the existing evidence and the theoretical frameworks informing this work.
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