Sexual and Gender Minority Intimate Partner Violence and Childhood Violence Exposure

Adam M. Messinger, Christina Dyar, Rachel S. Birmingham, Michael E. Newcomb, Sarah W. Whitton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Limited research on female-assigned-at-birth sexual and gender minorities (FAB SGM) suggests that their risk of psychological, physical, and sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and perpetration may be linked to childhood violence exposure (CVE), such as experiencing child abuse, or witnessing sibling or interparental abuse. That said, there is a dearth of research in this population examining whether there is typically a violence type match between CVE and IPV (e.g., physical CVE predicting physical IPV), a gender match between those involved in CVE and later IPV (e.g., witnessing the abuse of female parents predicting IPV among women), or an increase in IPV risk commensurate with the number of different CVE types experienced. Addressing these gaps, this article draws on the baseline survey data of FAB400, a merged cohort accelerated longitudinal study of 488 FAB SGM adolescents and young adults. Analyses focused on the subsample of 457 participants with prior intimate relationship experience. Findings revealed that each assessed form of CVE—parental verbal abuse victimization, parental physical maltreatment victimization, childhood sexual abuse victimization, witnessing sibling abuse, and witnessing interparental violence—predicted risk of IPV perpetration and victimization, without evidence of violence type match. Witnessing interparental violence was associated with IPV irrespective of the abused parent’s gender. In addition, exposure to a greater number of forms of CVE was associated with an increased risk of all types of IPV victimization and perpetration. Results offer preliminary evidence that the intergenerational transmission of violence is an applicable framework for FAB SGM, and as such this should be considered when screening and intervening for childhood, family, and partner violence in this population. Suggestions for future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • domestic violence
  • family violence
  • gay
  • partner violence
  • sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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