UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Testing the cycle of maltreatment hypothesis: Meta-analytic evidence of the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment

Madigan, S; Cyr, C; Eirich, R; Fearon, RMP; Ly, A; Rash, C; Poole, JC; (2019) Testing the cycle of maltreatment hypothesis: Meta-analytic evidence of the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment. Development and Psychopathology , 31 (1) pp. 23-51. 10.1017/S0954579418001700.

[img] Text
Fearon IGA meta_Oct1_FINAL.pdf - ["content_typename_Accepted version" not defined]
Access restricted to UCL open access staff until 14 August 2019.

Download (1MB)

Abstract

It has long been claimed that “maltreatment begets maltreatment,” that is, a parent's history of maltreatment increases the risk that his or her child will also suffer maltreatment. However, significant methodological concerns have been raised regarding evidence supporting this assertion, with some arguing that the association weakens in samples with higher methodological rigor. In the current study, the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment hypothesis is examined in 142 studies (149 samples; 227,918 dyads) that underwent a methodological quality review, as well as data extraction on a number of potential moderator variables. Results reveal a modest association of intergenerational maltreatment (k = 80; d = 0.45, 95% confidence interval; CI [0.37, 0.54]). Support for the intergenerational transmission of specific maltreatment types was also observed (neglect: k = 13, d = 0.24, 95% CI [0.11, 0.37]; physical abuse: k = 61, d = 0.41, 95% CI [0.33, 0.49]; emotional abuse: k = 18, d = 0.57, 95% CI [0.43, 0.71]; sexual abuse: k = 18, d = 0.39, 95% CI [0.24, 0.55]). Methodological quality only emerged as a significant moderator of the intergenerational transmission of physical abuse, with a weakening of effect sizes as methodological rigor increased. Evidence from this meta-analysis confirms the cycle of maltreatment hypothesis, although effect sizes were modest. Future research should focus on deepening understanding of mechanisms of transmission, as well as identifying protective factors that can effectively break the cycle of maltreatment.

Type: Article
Title: Testing the cycle of maltreatment hypothesis: Meta-analytic evidence of the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment
DOI: 10.1017/S0954579418001700
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579418001700
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Maltreatment; intergenerational; meta-analysis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070319
Downloads since deposit
2Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item