Although a relationship between harshness of childhood physical abuse and later aggression is well documented, researchers have rarely examined this association using information from the victim's perspective. Also, no study has controlled for the possibility that victims of harsh abuse are aggressive because they often require more invasive child protection services (CPS), and thus experience greater disruptions to their home situation. A sample of maltreated adolescents completed the Childhood Experiences of Violence Questionnaire, and a year later, answered questions on aggression. Controlling for other subtypes of maltreatment, number of moves, length of CPS involvement, and household situation, we found that frequency of physical abuse and frequency of severe physical abuse were predictive of aggressiveness. These associations remained statistically significant for females but not for males. Indicators of maltreatment chronicity, age of onset, and poly-victimization were not associated with aggression.
Canadian CW research
Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma, 6(2): 91-105