Intergenerational Patterns of Child Maltreatment: What the Evidence Shows

The majority of children who experience maltreatment do not become adults who abuse or neglect their own children. Our review of nearly 3 decades of research on the topic reveals that intergenerational patterns of child abuse and neglect are far more complex and nuanced than originally understood. This issue brief explores what is currently known about intergenerational patterns of maltreatment, the limits of our current knowledge, implications of what we know and what we do not know (including promising prevention strategies), and areas for further research.