TitleAdult attachment as a mediator/moderator to early experiences of family violence victimization on adult physically violent behavior
NameMarganski, Alison J. (author), Veysey, Bonita M. (chair), Maxfield, Michael G. (internal member), Kennedy, Leslie W. (internal member), Boxer, Paul (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
Intimate partner violence,
DescriptionThe detrimental effects of family violence victimization are well documented in research. Of particular note is its relationship to violent offending. Much evidence exists that link early experiences of family violence victimization to later violent behavior. Most often, researchers attribute this "cycle of violence" to social learning, whereby youth view and learn specific behaviors in response to conflict and then use them as adults. Yet this theory alone fails to explain why some individuals who experience family violence do not go on to offend later in life while others do. Attachment theory suggests that attachment forms early in life and is relatively stable over time and relationships. Individuals who experience family violence are more likely to have disrupted attachments that relate to later relationship problems. However, there is limited research investigating the role of attachment in influencing adult violence. This study takes a multidimensional approach by investigating whether several types of childhood experiences of family violence relate to adult violence via adult attachment, including attachment to a best friend, an intimate, a parent, and a sibling. Using a convenience sample of undergraduate university students, data was collected from 372 respondents through self-administered questionnaires during the fall semester of 2009. Two different sets of multivariate analyses were used to estimate whether adult attachment types play a role in explaining adult violence: (1) nested models to analyze the independent effect of each adult attachment type on the relationship between family violence and adult violent behavior, and (2) models using main effects and interactions between family violence-adult attachment types on adult violent behavior. Consistent with past research, the results of the analyses revealed significant associations between direct experiences of family violence victimization and adult violent behavior that provided support for social learning theory. Multivariate analyses using interaction terms also found significant interactions, indicating moderation effects, which were further investigated. Given the current study's findings on the role of adult attachment in interacting with experiences of family violence and its relation to adult violent behavior, further research to examine the means by which family violence victimization experiences develop into violent behavioral patterns is recommended.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Alison J. Marganski
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.