B4174 - Better understanding the inter-generational transmission of intimate partner violence and abuse - 07/11/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Alexa Yakubovich | Dalhousie University (Canada)
Dr. Annie Herbert, UoB, Dr. Jon Heron, UoB, Gene Feder, Alexis Bragman, Bridget Steele, George Kephart, Jennifer Silcox
Title of project: 
Better understanding the inter-generational transmission of intimate partner violence and abuse
Proposal summary: 

Around one-quarter of young people in the UK report intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA, that is, physical or sexual violence, or emotional abuse) among their parents by age 16. Research in US student samples suggests that for these young people, they are more likely to be victimised in their own intimate relationships as adolescents and young adults, this association my vary according to the timing of exposure to parental IPVA, and may be even higher for those with other adverse childhood experiences, such as maltreatment or parental mental illness. However, this has rarely been studied in a general population sample, or in the UK. Further, little is known about the burden of continued IPVA over the life-course on later health, that is, witnessing IPVA among parents to then experiencing IPVA in one’s own relationship. However, IPVA among parents does not guarantee future IPVA, and many go on to not to experience this in their own intimate relationships. Understanding what factors (e.g. parent-child relationships, school, peers) help to break the cycle of intimate partner violence, can inform policies and interventions to prevent further violence and improve quality of life in these families.

Impact of research: 
Existing research on the intergenerational transmission of IPV is limited because studies tend to only ask participants about their exposure to IPV between their parents once they have already reached adulthood. This retrospective research may be biased because people experiencing IPV in adulthood may be more or less likely to classify their childhood experiences as violent compared to those who are not currently experiencing IPV. Our research will allow us to produce a more robust understanding of the measurement and occurrence of the intergenerational transmission of IPVA in the general population, and the UK population in particular. It will help determine to what extent parental IPVA drives offspring IPVA beyond other co-occurring childhood experiences and whether the timing or chronicity of exposure to parental IPVA is importance to this association. In addition, we will be able to examine the cumulative impacts of exposure to IPVA over the life course on health and wellbeing. Our findings will inform future directions for national and international research on IPVA and the potential effectiveness of intervention strategies focused on early childhood and family environments. This research will thus be of interest to public health practitioners and researchers in the fields of adverse childhood experiences, resilience, and domestic and dating violence.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 November, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 7 November, 2022
Epidemiology, Violence and Abuse, Statistical methods, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Fathers, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics, Offspring, Parenting, Sex differences