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Continuity and Pathways from Aggression in Childhood to Family Violence in Adulthood: A 30-Year Longitudinal Study

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Volume: 23 Issue: 4 Dated: May 2008 Pages: 231-242
Caroline E. Temcheff; Lisa A. Serbin; Alexa Martin-Storey; Dale M. Stack; Sheilagh Hodgins; Jane Ledingham; Alex E. Schwartzman
Date Published
May 2008
12 pages
This longitudinal study examined different pathways whereby aggressive behavioral styles in childhood might place individuals at risk for continuing patterns of violence towards children and spouses.
Results suggest that childhood aggression may be an identifiable precursor of spousal violence, child abuse and subsequent intergenerational risk to the development of offspring. The results confirm that there are specific individual and environmental characteristics, identifiable in childhood, which have enduring impact into adulthood and consequences in terms of family relations. In the path models presented in this study, “direct” long-term effects of childhood behavioral characteristics on family violence were found, suggesting continuity of problematic aggressive behavior from childhood to parenthood. “Indirect” paths linking the childhood variables to family violence were also found. A growing literature base suggests that early patterns of aggressive behavior and conduct disorder, in both girls and boys, are predictive of later violent behavior. Utilizing the Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project, a study of individuals recruited as children in the 1970s from inner-city schools in Montreal, this study examined pathways from problematic childhood behavior patterns to violence in the family context. Tables, figures, references