Exposure to Family Violence of Israeli Inmates: Does Sex Make a Difference?

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The purpose of the current study was to examine differences by sex (a) in history of child abuse and neglect (CAN) and exposure to parental partner violence (PPV); and (b) in the association of CAN and PPV with violent offenses, substance use, suicidal behavior, and psychiatric problems. This cross-sectional study investigated sex differences in CAN and exposure to PPV in a sample of 290 Israeli inmates (65 women and 225 men). Participants completed a self-report measures of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and the revised Conflict Tactics Scale to measure PPV. The findings indicated that the female inmates had experienced significantly more sexual abuse (p < .001), and more exposure to PPV (p = .030), compared with male inmates. Female inmates who had experienced CAN were at higher risk of committing violent offenses than male inmates and female inmates were also more likely than male inmates to have been engaged in suicidal behaviors (39.3% and 18.5%, respectively), and to have had psychiatric problems (40% and 14.2%, respectively). The findings also revealed that psychiatric problems and suicidal behavior can be predicted by CAN and family substance use. The findings highlight the effects of the adverse childhood experience of exposure to CAN and PPV on behavioral problems. Appropriate treatment requires simultaneous intervention that targets all three issues of childhood trauma, substance use disorders, and psychiatric problems for both sexes.

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Correspondence to Gila Chen.

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All procedures performed in the present study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee (Ashkelon Academic College committee-no number) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Chen, G. Exposure to Family Violence of Israeli Inmates: Does Sex Make a Difference?. Psychiatr Q (2020).

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  • Sex differences
  • Parental partner violence
  • Child abuse
  • Psychiatric problems
  • Violent crime