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Awarded Research Grant to Prevent Violence and Violence-Related Injury

Development & Intergenerational Paths to Partner Violence & Child Maltreatment

FOA Number: CE 09 007: Research Grants for Preventing Violence and Violence Related Injury
Project Period: 09/30/09-09/29/12
Application Number: 1 R01 CE001572-01
Principal Investigator: THORNBERRY, TERENCE P PHD
483 UCB
BOULDER, CO 80309-0483
Phone: (303) 735-3065


Description (Provided by Applicant) Importance: Exposure to family violence is a serious public health concern with numerous negative consequences for children directly experiencing it (maltreatment) or indirectly exposed to it (intimate partner violence). The cost to society at large is quite substantial, as resources are devoted to prevention, to treatment of its immediate effects, and to its more distal effects, for example compromised health and lost productivity. Objectives: The present proposal will examine two types of family violence - intimate partner violence and child maltreatment - in a longitudinal, intergenerational context. Our core objective is to identify the developmental pathways and social circumstances that lead to the perpetration of these behaviors, as well as to identify protective factors that generate resilience in the face of risk. In pursuit of this core objective, the project has the following specific aims: 1. To examine intergenerational continuities in both intimate partner violence and child maltreatment. 2. To identify developmental pathways that lead to the perpetration of intimate partner violence and child maltreatment and that are potential mediators of the level of intergenerational continuity observed in Aim 1. 3. To identify both common and unique pathways to intimate partner violence and to child maltreatment. 4. To identify protective factors that reduce the likelihood that individuals with identified risk factors actually engage in intimate partner violence or in child maltreatment. Study Design: We will address these aims using data already collected in the Rochester Youth Development Study. The Rochester study began in 1988 with a sample of 1,000 7th and 8th graders who have been followed to age 31 (n=800) with 14 assessments. One of their parents was also followed in the study, from when the adolescents were 14 to 23. (The proposed project will also use some of the data from the Rochester Intergenerational Study which has been following the oldest biological child of the original adolescents since 1999 with annual assessments; n=500). We have data on the adolescent's exposure to intimate partner violence between ages 14.5 and 17 (based on their parent's report) and data on their perpetration of intimate partner violence between ages 17 and 31 (based on selfreports). We rely primarily on Child Protective Services records of substantiated cases to measure maltreatment. We have the adolescent's maltreatment victimization records from birthto 17, and at age 23 we added a retrospective self-report of childhood maltreatment experiences. We collected all substantiated cases of their perpetration of maltreatmentbetween 18 and 30 in the intergenerational study (n=500) and in 2009 we are updating that search to age 35 for all original participants still in the study (n=800). In addition, through the14 interviews conducted to date, we have voluminous prospective data on a host of risk and protective factors to use in our investigation of these aims. Setting: The study is based on a general community sample of urban adolescents from Rochester, New York, selected in 1988 and followed to age 31. Participants: The 1,000 original participants were selected in a stratified random sample that overrepresented youth at risk for delinquency and violence. The sample can be weighted to the population of all 7th and 8th graders. Attrition has been acceptable, 20% over 17 years, and the retained sample still represents the original population. This is a non-selected sample that represents an urban cohort followed over time. Sample sizes were provided above. Outcome Measures: As described above, the primary outcome measures are a) the perpetration of intimate partner violence between ages 17 and 31, and b) the perpetration of child maltreatment between the ages of 18 and 35. The end product will advance our understanding of the causes of family violence and will also have direct implications for the timing as well as the content of interventions to prevent the occurrence and re- occurrence of intimate partner violence and child maltreatment. Intimate partner violence and child maltreatment exact a high toll on the individual, his or her family, and society at large. The present study examines this public health concern using data from a prospective longitudinal study to enhance our understanding of the origins of these behaviors. The results will identify new, and earlier, targets for prevention and treatment programs.