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Family Lessons in Attachment and Aggression: The Impact of Interparental Violence on Adolescent Adjustment

Odgers, Candice
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) In John Hamel and Tonia L. Nicholls, Ed., Family Interventions in Domestic Violence. New York, USA: Springer Publishing Company. Pp. 191-214.

“In this chapter, we discuss how adolescents’ experiences within families are related to risk for aggression and violence in close relationships. We begin with a brief discussion of developmental pathways to aggressive behavior in adolescents and young adults and then review research on the relation between exposure to family violence and the use of interpersonal aggression among adolescents. We argue that adolescence is a critical period during which youth integrate knowledge structures about intimate relationships to guide their interpersonal strategies for negotiating conflict within their own relationships. Although the vast majority of studies have focused on exposure to spousal violence perpetrated by fathers, we discuss new findings from our research that suggest that aggression and violence perpetrated by mothers may be equally, if not more, significant in determining sons’ and daughters’ tendency to use violence in their relationships. We assert that attachment representations are an important vehicle through which lessons learned in the context of family volence and interparental violence (IPV) become enacted as adolescents enter romantic relationships. Implications for research and intervention are discussed.” (excerpt)


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