Chapter

Violence and Mental Health

pp 27-45

Date:

Intergenerational Transmission of Violence

  • Cathy Spatz WidomAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, University of New York City Email author 
  • , Helen W. WilsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, University of New York City

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Abstract

In this chapter, we first describe a number of prominent and frequently cited theories describing how victimized children may grow up to become violent offenders, including social learning, attachment, social information processing, neurophysiological, and behavioral genetics. The second part of this chapter reviews the empirical evidence on the “cycle of violence”, and the final section describes a variety of interventions that might be implemented to “break” the cycle of violence. We provide a vignette to illustrate possible points of intervention in the life of one maltreated child. Finally, we conclude with a brief comment on recommendations for research and practice.