From early dating violence to adult intimate partner violence: Continuity and sources of resilience in adulthood

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Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health

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Background: Previous literature has found continuity for intimate partner violence, but little research has explored continuity between dating violence and adult intimate partner violence (IPV) or whether protective factors may attenuate this relationship. Aims: This research hypothesised a positive relationship between dating violence in early adulthood and later adulthood IPV and that support and attachment would provide buffering and direct protection for this relationship. Methods: Data from the Rochester Youth Development Study were used to explore these questions through negative binomial regression. Results: Dating violence was statistically significantly related to an increase of adult IPV. Family support, parental reports of attachment to the subject, peer support and parenting-related social support all were protective factors that provided a direct effect for those respondents perpetrating dating violence. None of the protective factors provided buffering protection between dating violence and adult IPV. Conclusions: Results confirm significant continuity between dating violence and IPV and that support from peers and family, parenting-related support and parental reports of attachment protect an individual from continuing to engage in intimate partner violence throughout adulthood. Bolstering these supportive relationships may help provide points of intervention to interrupt the link between early dating violence and later adulthood IPV. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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