What Is Intergenerational Transmission of Child Maltreatment?

  • Lisa SchelbeEmail author
  • Jennifer M. Geiger
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Social Work book series (BRIEFSSOWO)


Intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment (ITCM) occurs when a person experiences child maltreatment and then grows up and abuses and/or neglects his or her own child. While this concept is widely accepted by the public and professionals alike, the empirical evidence supporting it is limited and inconclusive. Research has found the majority of people who were maltreated as children do not continue the cycle of maltreatment. Additionally, some people who did not experience maltreatment as children abuse and neglect their children. This first chapter serves as an introduction to the book and the topic of ITCM. The chapter begins with a definition of ITCM and goes on to describe the scope of child abuse and neglect, as well as its substantial costs to society. The chapter presents an argument that in order to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies, ITCM must be understood and considered. The last section of the chapter provides an overview of the remaining chapters.


Intergeneration transmission of child maltreatment Child maltreatment Child abuse and neglect Continuity of child maltreatment Cycle of violence Cycle of abuse 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Social WorkFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.Jane Addams College of Social WorkUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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