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Developmental timing and continuity of exposure to interparental violence and externalizing behavior as prospective predictors of dating violence

  • Angela J. Narayan (a1), Michelle M. Englund (a1) and Byron Egeland (a1)

Abstract

This study investigated the prospective pathways of children's exposure to interparental violence (EIPV) in early and middle childhood and externalizing behavior in middle childhood and adolescence as developmental predictors of dating violence perpetration and victimization at ages 23 and 26 years. Participants (N = 168) were drawn from a longitudinal study of low-income families. Path analyses examined whether timing or continuity of EIPV predicted dating violence and whether timing or continuity of externalizing behavior mediated these pathways. Results indicated that EIPV in early childhood directly predicted perpetration and victimization at age 23. There were significant indirect effects from EIPV to dating violence through externalizing behavior in adolescence and life stress at age 23. Independent of EIPV, externalizing behavior in middle childhood also predicted dating violence through externalizing behavior in adolescence and life stress at age 23, but this pathway stemmed from maltreatment. These results highlight that the timing of EIPV and both the timing and the continuity of externalizing behavior are critical risks for the intergenerational transmission of dating violence. The findings support a developmental perspective that negative early experiences and children's externalizing behavior are powerful influences for dating violence in early adulthood.

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Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Angela J. Narayan, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 51 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455; E-mail: anarayan@umn.edu.

References

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