Katz, Colleen Cary (2014). Investigating the cycle of violence: The role of attachment style in the relationship between child maltreatment and intimate partner violence.
Children who are maltreated by their caregivers are more likely than their peers to become involved in intimate partner violence (IPV) in adolescence and young adulthood. Despite the consistency of research supporting this finding, the mechanisms relating child maltreatment and IPV involvement are still not well understood. Considering there were more than 678,000 children in the United States identified by child protection authorities as having been maltreated in 2012, the task of investigating this cycle of violence is important and urgent. This dissertation seeks to build on the existing knowledge base by examining the extent to which the attachment styles of former foster youth who have been maltreated and/or witnessed parental IPV relate to IPV involvement in early adulthood. Latent class analysis was used to classify subjects into three classes based on their experiences of maltreatment: (1) the Multiple Maltreatment Class; (2) the Sexual Maltreatment Class and (3) the Predominant Neglect Class. A test of joint significance was conducted and evidence for an indirect effect of maltreatment on IPV through attachment was found: (1) those in the Multiple Maltreatment Class were more likely to have high estimated avoidant attachment scores than those in the other two classes; and (2) those with higher avoidant attachment scores were more likely to be involved in IPV at age 23/24 than those with lower avoidant attachment scores. It is probable that these findings were driven by the relationship between maltreatment, attachment, and IPV among young women in the sample, as little evidence was found for this effect among young men. Findings are intended to help child welfare administrators and clinicians target high-risk youth while they are still in the foster care system, offering psychoeducation and tailored evidence-based interventions to reduce the likelihood that these youth will become involved in violent partnerships later in life.
Copyright - Copyright ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing 2014
Katz, Colleen Cary
Courtney, Mark E.
The University of Chicago
City of Publication