The question of whether or not children of abuse become abusers’ themselves has long been a question of popular interest. Many researchers have taken on the task of studying and analyzing this social crisis on many levels. A large majority look to family history of abuse during childhood within the home, this can be a past history of being abused themselves or witnessing the abuse or violence toward other individual who reside in the residence. Utilizing data from previous studies shows a correlation between children from abusive homes and an increase in becoming abusers’ as adults.
It is common knowledge that child abuse and maltreatment have long-term physical, emotional, andpsychologicaleffects on the victim. Throughout life the memories of these events will play a significant role in behavior and the emotional characteristics of the child and the adult. In childhood the victim, suffers from depression, a low self esteem and an inability to understand and handle feelings causes deeper issues controlling anger and handling stress in the future. According to Prevail Incorporated (2009), “Statistics show that children who witness and experience abuse are more likely to commit crimes than those from non-violent families” (Adult Statistics, p. 2). Studies have shown that children who grow up with domestic violence in the home are 79% more likely to become Domestic abusers as adults and “74% more likely to commit a violent crime” (Prevail, Inc., 2009, p. 2). Men are statistically more likely to hit in a relationship, when they witness the same abuse as a child witha staggering 81%. A clear cycle of violence is evident concerning abuse. According to National Center for Victims of Crime (2008), “One expert estimates that 40% of sexual abusers where sexual abused as children” (Cycle of Violence, Para. 1). In general children who are abused and subjected to violence have a higher risk of being the perpetrator of abusive behavior as adults.
Being abused is not a precursor for becoming an abusive adult. Though experiencing abuse as a child makes an adult more likely to commit the same or worse abuse offenses, there are a small handful of abusers who never personally experienced abuse. A common belief among psychologists, as there are no concrete studies to support it, is that approximately 23 out 1,000 youth will grow up to commit violent acts against others without a personally abusive background. Studies of these 5% show that they have witnessed violence from afar, such as television, community violence such as gangs or had some sort of minimal contact with violence. Researchers in these studies were looking to prove that “the cycle of violence is not deterministic or inevitable” (Margolin & Gordis, 2004, p. 153).
This step identifies the purpose for the study and what the population being studied is. In this case population 1 consists of those abusers that were abused as a child. Population 2 consists of the general population which also contains those abusers that never experienced abuse as a child.The prediction of the research group is that children subjected to abuse as a child are more likely to be abusive as an adult.
This step compares the sample scores against the comparison distribution. In this case, we have taken the population of those abusers who were abused as a child and compared them against the comparison distribution which represents the population if the null were true (Aron, Aron & Coup, 2009).
This is the step where the research team established the parameters which will measure how extreme the results are in comparison to the null. This parameter is called the sample cutoff score and will serve as the guideline for how extreme the results are. Using the comparison distribution from step 3, the researchers determine the cutoff sample score prior to conducting the test and predetermine whether the null will be rejected or not.
Step 4 is the step where the actual research study occurs and the sample results are acquired. The sample score is then computed into a Z score using the samples raw score, the mean, and the standard deviation.Step 5 uses a comparison of steps 3 and 4 to determine whether the null is rejected of the test is inconclusive. In this case the research hypothesis tests are more likely to reject the hypothesis if they conclude that children from abusive home are abusers as adults’ average is higher.
Rejecting the original hypothesis is based on the statistical data that shows only 79% of individual from abusive home will in turn become abusive, leaving almost 30% of individuals from abusive familiesto become those who will abuse. If utilizing a predetermined alpha score of 5, which is the greatest margin of error used in most psychological studies, research cannot reject the null hypothesis. The ability of rejecting the null hypothesis, state individuals from abusive homes will not abuse children as adults because it does not fall outside the predetermined alpha score.
Research has found a correlation between individuals who have been victims of childhood abuse and becoming abusive into their adult lives. There is statistical evidence that shows a large increase in the likelihood of becoming an abuser as an adult after being witness first hand to abuse as a child either by being the victim or having seen it displayed within the home. However, it cannot be stated as a fact that children from abusive homes will abuse later in their lives.
Are children from abusive homes, more likely to abuse children as adults? • By • Sandra Cruz • Corey Fairchild • Danielle Delaunay • Erica Oquendo • Manithe Senat • 8/2011 • Psy/315
Introduction• Do children of abuse become abusers• A look at family history of abuse• Previous studies shows a correlation
Effects of Abuse• Long-term physical, emotional, and psychological effects• Victims are 74% more likely to abuse• Of all victims, 81% of those who abuse as an adult are male• 40% of sexual abusers were sexually abused as a child
Unprovoked Abusers• A small population who abuse without ever experiencing abuse• Some abusers witnesses violence and identify with abuse as a norm• Sources of perceived violence stem from multiple sources
Hypothesis Testing• Step 1: Restate the Question as a Research Hypothesis and a Null Hypothesis about the Populations • Population 1: Abusive home led to violent behavior toward children as adults. • Population 2: The general population (those who abused children as adults without any trace of precursor).
Hypothesis Testing• Step 2: Determine the Characteristics of the Comparison Distribution • Children who grow up in an abusive home are 79% more likely to abuse. Mean while 74% will commit crime, 40% will sexual abuse, and abused males are 81% more likely to hit. • Compare to unprovoked abusers 23 out 1,000 of the population = 2.3% are abusers with 5% witness violence from an environment.
Hypothesis Testing• Step 3: Determine the Cutoff Sample Score on the Comparison Distribution at Which the Null Hypothesis Should Be Rejected • to determine the cutoff score and use the comparison distribution to reject the null hypothesis if the result were extreme
Hypothesis Testing• Step 4: Determine the sample’s score on the comparison distribution. • A sample score would be determined to make comparison distribution between the two populations.• Step 5: Decide Whether to Reject the Null Hypothesis • Decision made based on the Z score and the cutoff score whether a null hypothesis is rejected.
Rejecting the Theory• 79% of abused children will become abusive as adults• 30% of abused children will not abuse• Predetermined Alpha score of 5• The null hypothesis is not rejected based on research data
Conclusion• Statistical evidence• likelihood of becoming an abuser• Cannot be stated as a fact
ReferencesAron, A., Aron, E. N., & Coups, E. (2009). Statistics for psychology (5th ed.). Upper Sadler, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Cactus Thorns.. (2011). Child abuse week. Retrieved from http://www.vote29.com/newmyblog/archives/18658Child abuse info. (n.d.). dreamcatchersforabusedchildren. Retrieved Aug. 4, 2011 from http://dreamcatchersforabusedchildren.com/2011/04/study-child-abuse- victims-have-altered-brains/Fanpop. (n.d.). Stop Child Abuse. Retrieved Aug. 6, 2011 from http://www.fanpop.com/spots/stop-child-abuse/imagesFanpop. (n.d.). Stop Child Abuse. Retrieved Aug. 6, 2011 from http://www.fanpop.com/spots/stop-child-abuse/images/23073271/title/stop-child-abuse-photoMargolin, G., & Gordis, E.B. (2004). Childrens Exposure to Violence in the Family and Community. American Psychological Society, 13( 4), 152-155.National Center for Victims of Crime. (2008). Child Sexual Abuse. Retrieved Aug. 3, 2011 from http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/childsexualabuseOpen parachute. (n.d.). Facing up to child abuse. Retrieved Aug. 4, 2011 from http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2008/03/03/facing-up-to-child-abuse/Prevail, Inc.. (2009). Media Center-Abuse Statistics. Retrieved Aug. 3, 2011 from http://www.prevailinc.com/media-center-statistics.php