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Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 135–152 | Cite as

The intergenerational transmission of family aggression

  • Charles Cappell
  • Robert B. Heiner
Article

Abstract

This paper analyzes the coexistence of aggressive relations reported by 888 intact child-rearing families using the National Survey of Physical Violence in American Families. The existence of spousal violence in the family of origin increased the likelihood that the respondent, whether husband or wife, was the target of aggression from his or her spouse. Aggression between parent and child in female respondents' families of origin increased the likelihood that females behaved aggressively toward their children. Among these families, no pervasive pattern of sex-specific learned perpetration was found. Instead, vulnerability to aggression was transmitted more than the learned role of perpetrator. The analysis differs from earlier studies in that all of the patterns of family aggression are analyzed simultaneously, thereby taking into account current family interactions as well as historical ones.

Key words

intergenerational family aggression social learning spousal violence 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Cappell
    • 1
  • Robert B. Heiner
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Social Research and the Department of SociologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalb
  2. 2.Department of Social ScienceSpring Hill CollegeMobile

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