Document Detail

The relationships of dissociation and affective family environment with the intergenerational cycle of child abuse.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15979709     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to test a model that may explain how physically abused children become physically abusive parents. It was predicted that when the family's affective environment is uncohesive, unexpressive, and conflictual, a history of abuse experiences would be associated with elevated dissociation. It was hypothesized that dissociation would mediate between a childhood history of abuse and the current potential to be physically abusive. METHOD: Abuse history, affective environment in the family-of-origin, dissociation, and abuse potential were assessed in a sample of 76 mothers with elementary school-age children. RESULTS: Predictions were supported. Affective Family Environment moderated the relation between abuse history and dissociation, with abuse history relating to greater dissociation primarily when the family environment was conflictual, uncohesive and unexpressive. Further, dissociation significantly mediated the relation between abuse history and abuse potential (Z = 2.19, p < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Dissociation's strong association with abuse potential may partially explain why only some abused children later perpetuate the cycle of abuse, as those who are not dissociative into adulthood are likely to have lower abuse potential, in contrast to those displaying elevated dissociation. The extent of the dissociation may depend on the affective family environment in which the abuse took place.
David Singh Narang; Josefina M Contreras
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Child abuse & neglect     Volume:  29     ISSN:  0145-2134     ISO Abbreviation:  Child Abuse Negl     Publication Date:  2005 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-07-11     Completed Date:  2005-12-13     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7801702     Medline TA:  Child Abuse Negl     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  683-99     Citation Subset:  IM    
ENKI Health & Research Systems, East Los Angeles, CA 90022, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Child Abuse / psychology*
Child of Impaired Parents
Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis*,  psychology
Family / psychology*
Intergenerational Relations*
Midwestern United States
Parent-Child Relations*

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