Articles

The cycle of violence

Science  14 Apr 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4901, pp. 160-166
DOI: 10.1126/science.2704995

Abstract

Despite widespread belief that violence begets violence, methodological problems substantially restrict knowledge of the long-term consequences of childhood victimization. Empirical evidence for this cycle of violence has been examined. Findings from a cohort study show that being abused or neglected as a child increases one's risk for delinquency, adult criminal behavior, and violent criminal behavior. However, the majority of abused and neglected children do not become delinquent, criminal, or violent. Caveats in interpreting these findings and their implications are discussed in this article.

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