Breaking the intergenerational transmission of child abuse: Beyond the mother‐child relationship
Studies comparing abusive and non-abusive parents who were abused as children are reviewed to determine protective factors that may lead to a break in the transmission pattern.Non-abusers have several factors in common. For instance: they have extensive emotional and social support from significant others. they are aware of what happened to them as children and are openly angry about their abuse. and many of them received (psycho)therapy as adolescents or young adults. Discovering protective factors by which some parents overcome a family pattern of abuse is valuable in guiding both prevention and intervention efforts. A brief discussion of the influence of methodological variations of different studies on reported transmission rates precedes the review. Furthermore. attention is given to the underrepresentation of (abusive) fathers in theory as well as in research on child abuse. The effects of undervaluation of gender differences are discussed in terms of their importance in the occurrence and (breaks in the) transmission of child abuse.