Intergenerational transmission of child abuse and neglect: Effects of maltreatment type and depressive symptoms

Mi Youn Yang, Sarah A. Font, McKenzie Ketchum, Youn Kyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Parental history of childhood maltreatment victimization is a widely studied risk factor for child maltreatment perpetration, a process referred to as the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment (ITCM). Using a sample of mothers receiving welfare in Illinois, we examined how maternal history of physical abuse and neglect was associated with perpetration of physical abuse and neglect against mothers’ own children. In addition, we investigated whether the mediating effects of depressive symptoms on ITCM differ by subtype of maltreatment using PROCESS Macro analyses as developed by Hayes (2017).We found that maternal physical abuse history increased the risk of offspring physical abuse and neglect; maternal neglect history was associated with offspring neglect only. In addition, we found that mothers’ depressive symptoms mediated the associations of neglect and physical abuse victimization with perpetration of physical abuse; depressive symptoms did not explain any aspect of neglect perpetration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-371
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Aug 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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