CitationLim, June (2015). Parental Relationships and Violence Trajectories from Adolescence through Adulthood. American Public Health Association 143rd Annual Meeting and Exposition. Chicago, IL.
AbstractBackground: Violence poses a pervasive threat to the population. Although it is a leading cause of death for people 1-44 years old, much of the research has been on adolescents and the risk factors for violence onset at this life stage. Less is known about the course of violence over time and the role parental relationships play in its persistence and cessation.
Methods: Data from Waves 1-4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n=11,197) were used to identify gender-stratified violence trajectories from adolescence through adulthood using group-based trajectory modeling. Trajectories were used in multinomial logistic regression analyses with Wave 1 parental relationships as the primary predictors, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and other risk factors. Wave 1 parental relationship measures include attachment to mother/father and child maltreatment by mother/father.
Results: Four violence trajectories were identified for males and females: low adolescence-limited, high adolescence-limited, persistent, and adulthood-onset. Parental attachment has a protective effect only among females such that higher attachment decreases the risk of being in the high adolescence limited or persistent trajectory. Child abuse victimization increases the risk of being in the high adolescence-limited, persistent, and adulthood-onset violence trajectories.
Conclusions: While females benefit from the deterrent effect of parental attachment, both genders experience the detrimental influences of child maltreatment on violence. These results point to the proximal, distal and persistent effects of parental relationships. Thus, strengthening positive parental relationships and preventing child maltreatment are integral to preventing violence across the life course.