Life Course Associations Between Victimization and Aggression: Distinct and Cumulative Contributions
The connections between early maltreatment and later aggression are well established in the literature, however gaps remain in our understanding of developmental processes. This study investigates the cascading life course linkages between victimization experiences from childhood through early adulthood and later aggressive behavior. The diverse, at-risk sample is of particular importance to child and adolescent specialists, as it represents highly vulnerable youth accessible through conventional school settings. In addition to direct pathways from proximal life periods, path analysis revealed significant indirect mediated pathways through which earlier life victimization contributes to aggressive behaviors in later life periods as well as revictimization. Multivariate regressions support theorized cumulative effects of multi-form victimization as well as distinct contributions of victimization domains (emotional, witnessing, physical, property, and sexual) in explaining aggressive behavior. Consistent with theorizing about the developmental impact of early maltreatment, results bolster the importance of interrupting pathways from victimization to revictimization and later aggression. Findings are evaluated in light of implications for early identification and prevention programming.
KeywordsVictimization Abuse Violence Aggression Development
This research was supported by grants from NINR Grant # R01 NR03550 “Suicide Risk From Adolescence to Young Adulthood,” NCRR Grant TL1 RR 025016, and the National Institute on Mental Health Grant 5 T32 MH20010 “Mental Health Prevention Research Training Program”.
- Anda, R. F., Felitti, V. J., Walker, J., Whitfield, C. L., Bremner, J. D., & Giles, W. H. (2006). The enduring effects of abuse and related adverse experiences in childhood: A convergence of evidence from neurobiology and epidemiology. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 56(3), 174–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Bandura, A., Ross, R., & Ross, S. (1962). Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 320–335.Google Scholar
- Begle, A. M., Hanson, R. F., Danielson, C. K., McCart, M. R., Ruggiero, K. J., Amstadter, A. B., & Kilpatrick, D. G. (2011). Longitudinal pathways of victimization, substance use, and delinquency: Findings from the National Survey of Adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 36, 682–689.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Belli, R. F., Stafford, F. P., & Alwin, D. F. (2009). Calender and time diary methods in life course research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Brown, G. W., Craig, T. K. J., Harris, T. O., Handley, R. V., & Harvey, A. L. (2007). Development of retrospective interview measure of parental maltreatment using the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse (CECA) instrument—A life course study of adult chronic depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 103, 205–215.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2014). Protective factors approaches in child welfare. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau. Retrieved March 30th, 2014 from https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/issue_briefs/protective_factors.cfm.
- Danielson, C. K., de Arellano, M. A., Ehrenreich, J. T., Suárez, L. M., Bennett, S. M., & Trosper, S. E. (2006). Identification of high-risk behaviors among victimized adolescents and implications for empirically supported psychosocial treatment. Journal of Psychiatry Practice, 12(6), 364–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Davis, P. T., & Cicchetti, D. (2004). Toward an integration of family systems and developmental psychopathology approaches. Development and Psychopathology, 16, 477–481.Google Scholar
- Ford, D. H., & Lerner, R. M. (1992). Developmental systems theory: An integrative approach. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Greenwald, R. (2002). Trauma and juvenile delinquency: Theory, research, and interventions. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press.Google Scholar
- Herting, J. R. (1990). Predicting at-risk youth: Evaluation of a sample selection model. Communicating Nursing Research, 23, 178.Google Scholar
- Hooven, C., Nurius, P. S., Logan-Greene, P., & Thompson, E. A. (2012). Childhood violence exposure: Cumulative and specific effects on adult mental health. Journal of Youth Studies, 14(4), 413–429.Google Scholar
- Kline, R. B. (2010). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Koller, J. M. (2006). Responding to today’s mental health needs of children, families and schools: Revisiting the preservice training and preparation of school-based personnel. Education and Treatment of Children, 29(2), 197–217.Google Scholar
- Logan-Greene, P., Nurius, P. S., & Thompson, E. (2012). Distinct stress and resource profiles among at-risk adolescents: Implications for violence and other problem behaviors. Child and Adolescent Social Work. doi: 10.1007/s10560-012-0269-x.
- Nurius, P. S., Hooven, C., Russell, P. L., Walsh, E., Herting, J., & Thompson, E. (2010). Violence, nonviolent adversity, and mental health: Cumulative stress effects in the transition to young adulthood. In: Paper presented at the annual conference of the Society for Social Work Research, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2012). Promoting recovery and resilience for children and youth involved in juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/children/samhsa_shortreport_2012.pdf.
- Turner, H. A. (2010). Stress process applications in child victimization research. In W. R. Avison, C. Aneschensel, S. S. Schieman, & B. Wheaton (Eds.), Advances in the conceptualization of the stress process: Essays in honor of Leonard I. Pearlin (pp. 207–228). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
- van der Kolk, B. A. (2005). Developmental trauma disorder. Psychiatric Annals, 35, 401–408.Google Scholar
- van der Kolk, B. A., & d’Andrea, W. (2010). Towards a developmental trauma disorder diagnosis for childhood interpersonal trauma. In R. A. Lanius, E. Vermetten, & C. Pain (Eds.), The impact of early life trauma on health and disease (pp. 57–68). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Webster-Stratton, C., & Reid, M. (2004). Strengthening social and emotional competence in young children—the Foundation for early school readiness and success: Incredible years classroom social skills and problem-solving curriculum. Infants and Young Children: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Special Care Practices, 17(2), 96–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar