JOURNAL ARTICLE

Exploring the relationship between child physical abuse and adult dating violence using a causal inference approach in an emerging adult population in South Korea

Wesley G Jennings, MiRang Park, Tara N Richards, Elizabeth Tomsich, Angela Gover, Ráchael A Powers
Child Abuse & Neglect 2014, 38 (12): 1902-13
25220481
Child maltreatment is one of the most commonly examined risk factors for violence in dating relationships. Often referred to as the intergenerational transmission of violence or cycle of violence, a fair amount of research suggests that experiencing abuse during childhood significantly increases the likelihood of involvement in violent relationships later, but these conclusions are primarily based on correlational research designs. Furthermore, the majority of research linking childhood maltreatment and dating violence has focused on samples of young people from the United States. Considering these limitations, the current study uses a rigorous, propensity score matching approach to estimate the causal effect of experiencing child physical abuse on adult dating violence among a large sample of South Korean emerging adults. Results indicate that the link between child physical abuse and adult dating violence is spurious rather than causal. Study limitations and implications are discussed.

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