Intergenerational Transmission of Violence

  • Cathy Spatz WidomEmail author
  • Helen W. Wilson


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.


Child Abuse Antisocial Behavior Physical Abuse Violent Behavior Corporal Punishment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal JusticeUniversity of New York CityNew York CityUSA

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