The relationship between childhood maltreatment and child-to-parent violence and abuse

Liew, Shi Hui (2021) The relationship between childhood maltreatment and child-to-parent violence and abuse. DForenPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Background: Child-to-parent violence and abuse continues to be largely understudied and poorly understood. This phenomenon refers to any non-fatal act(s), by a child, that causes physical, psychological, and/or financial harm to one’s parent(s). Several studies have explored the relationship between child-to-parent violence and abuse and childhood maltreatment. However, a consolidated understanding of this relationship is lacking. Research also tends to consider different types of abuse and neglect in isolation. Furthermore, the psychological mechanisms underlying the relationship remain largely theoretical. This thesis explored the relationship between five types of childhood maltreatment and three types of child-to-parent violence and abuse. Additionally, within these relationships, the explanatory roles of two symptoms of unresolved childhood maltreatment were clarified (i.e. trauma symptoms and cognitive distortions).

Aims and Objectives: The main purpose of this research thesis was to expand the current knowledge base surrounding the relationship between childhood maltreatment and child-to-parent violence and abuse. The roles of different types of childhood maltreatment and two mediators on child-to-parent violence were explored in this thesis.

Methods: A systematic review and meta-analyses were conducted to consolidate existing findings regarding the relationship between childhood maltreatment and child-to-parent violence and abuse (Chapter Two). Thereafter, a quantitative research study was conducted; details of this research methodology were covered in Chapter Three. Young female adult respondents completed an online survey which consisted of four questionnaires.

Results:

1. The systematic review containing meta-analyses and a narrative synthesis of the literature suggested that individuals who had experienced direct and indirect victimisation were also more likely to have engaged in child-to-parent violence and abuse. (Chapter Two)

2. Primary study one found that the experience of various singular types and cumulative types of childhood maltreatment increased the likelihood of young female adults engaging in different types of child-to-parent violence and abuse. (Chapter Four)

3. The results from primary study two found that, among young female adults, various trauma symptoms and cognitive distortions were associated with the relationships between childhood maltreatment and child-to-parent psychological or physical violence and abuse. None of the mediators fully explained the five studied relationships. (Chapter 5)

Conclusion: The thesis reveals a complex interaction surrounding the experience of childhood maltreatment on an individual’s risk of engaging in child-to-parent violence and abuse. There is value in researchers and practitioners recognising the role of unresolved trauma, to understand and address child-to-parent physical and psychological violence and abuse. Using a multifaceted approach would be beneficial too. Lastly, current initiatives and efforts to prevent and support victims of childhood maltreatment should be continued.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DForenPsy)
Supervisors: Chou, Shihning
Guo, Boliang
Keywords: Parent-child relationships; Family violence; Child abuse; Post-traumatic stress disorder
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WA Public health
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 67164
Depositing User: Liew, Shi Hui
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 04:41
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2022 14:36
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/67164

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