A recent study from the latest issue of Personal Relationships shows that individuals who have experienced violence at an early age may have trouble adjusting to healthy, adult romantic relationships and are at a higher risk to experience marital difficulties.
The research reveals that early exposure to a violent environment is likely to lead to domestic violence situations later in life. Feelings of insecurity, abandonment anxiety, and intimacy issues are also likely to plague these romantic connections.
Additionally, the dynamics of the way couples react and communicate with each other is also related to the likelihood of domestic violence within a relationship. For example, men tend to use violence towards their partner as a means to exert a desire for personal space or avoidance of emotional issues in response to the "clingy" or intrusive behavior of his female partner.
This research highlights the importance of domestic violence prevention efforts starting at the childhood level, within family environments as well as school and community based settings. Moreover, prevention efforts allow the victim to relate long-harbored painful childhood violent experiences and rectify internal representations of self that cause long-term damage to valuable inter-personal relationships and families.
- Natacha Godbout, Donald G. Dutton, Yvan Lussier, St้phane Sabourin. Early exposure to violence, domestic violence, attachment representations, and marital adjustment. Personal Relationships, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2009.01228.x
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