I am sure it will come as no surprise to Strollerderby readers that children who witness violence between their parents are more likely to suffer all kinds of mental health problems in their own adulthood. What I did find surprising, however, was the extremely high rates found in a new study.
Researchers in Paris studied over 3000 depressed adults and interviewed them to determine life history and other factors in their current lives. Once they adjusted the findings for complicating factors, they found that people who’d witnessed “interparental” violence as children were:
“1.4 times more likely to have depression, more than three times more likely to be involved in intimate partner violence, almost five times more likely to mistreat their children, and 1.75 times more likely to have alcohol dependence.”
According to the study, the likelihood of interparental violence increased greatly when parents were under stress like serious disease, joblessness and other financial problems. It also found increased likelihood of violence among alcohol and drug-dependent parents.
Given the devastating, multi-generational outcomes, I hope the research will be used to increase prevention and intervention in families at high risk for such violence.