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Second-Generation Prisoners and the Transmission of Domestic Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
J. L. Will, A. B. Loper, S. L. Jackson
Since adult inmates who experienced the incarceration of a parent, known as “second-generation prisoners,” experience unique challenges and are at heightened risk for experiencing other adversities throughout their life span, this study investigated one specific, and previously unexplored, type of adversity—domestic violence—within a sample of 293 incarcerated adults.
The study focused on the relationship between generation status (first- or second-generation prisoners), childhood exposure to domestic violence, and participation in adult-relationship violence prior to incarceration. Findings indicate that prisoners who had been exposed to domestic violence in childhood were more likely to engage in intimate partner violence resulting in inflicted and received injury. Relative to first-generation prisoners, second-generation prisoners reported more childhood domestic violence exposure and were more likely to have been injured by an adult-relationship partner; however, this relation between second-generation status and injury victimization was mediated by domestic violence exposure. These results support an intergenerational pattern of domestic violence and suggest that second-generation prisoners are a unique population worthy of future investigation and mental health intervention. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Created: November 17, 2016