Teens today are involved in intimate relationships at a much younger age and often have different definitions of what is acceptable behavior in a relationship. Violence is something that is all too common, and according to researchers at Iowa State, it is a reflection of the relationships teens have with their parents or their parent's partner.
"It is true that if you grow up in a violent household you have a higher likelihood of being in a violent relationship," said Brenda Lohman, lead author and an associate professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University.
The research focused on psychological violence instead of physical violence. Lohman and her colleagues discovered that psychological violence between a parent and child was more significant than a child witnessing violence between two adults in the home.
"If the parent is more aggressive toward the child, the child is more likely to be in relationships where they're being victimized or perpetrating violence against their partner a few years or even a decade later," Lohman said.
The study is one of the first to examine patterns of violence over three decades to see how children exposed to psychological violence and family stress were affected in relationships later in life.
The study is published in the April issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.