Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

Breaking the links of intergenerational violence: an emotional regulation perspective


Author(s) Siegel, Judith
Title Breaking the links in intergenerational violence: an emotional regulation perspective
Source Family Process,June 2013, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp 163-176
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Summary This article explores the potential links between disturbances in emotional regulation caused by childhood exposure to domestic violence, including witnessing parental violence, and the repetition of partner violence in adulthood. The author conducts an extensive literature review, discussing the effects of different combinations of exposure and experience and the repetition of abuse. The research around neurobiological consequences of childhood trauma for adults is explored, including changes in right brain function and neuro-cognitive changes that may predispose individuals to a range of disturbances that impact emotional stability as well as interpersonal relationships. Family attributes related to emotional regulation, such as disruptions in attachment and compromised parenting, are also discussed. The second part of the article contains a brief overview of interventions with brief evaluations of each. One of the key recommendations is for professionals working with children who witness parental violence to be more aware of the spectrum of symptoms of emotional dysregulation, that can be addressed through early intervention.
Keywords Witness parental violence; emotional regulation; heritability; family attributes
Topic Domestic violence