Child Abuse, "Violent Times"

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In viewing Justin’s story in “Violent Times” it was easy to see that young man’s distress at his tumultuous childhood. Mirroring his parents’ violent interactions with one another, Justin became physically and verbally violent with his peers. He began having trouble in school and even developed his own drug habit to match those of his mother and father. The inconsistent level of care and nurturing he received as a child, his parents’ violent relationship with one another and their substance abuse problems are all potentiating factors for the transmission of intergenerational abuse. Cicchetti and Valentino (2006) indicated that “research regarding the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment has consistently supported the notion that individuals with a history of maltreatment are more likely to maltreat their own children” (p. 139). Justin watched his parents get into physical and verbal fights. He saw his mother and father abuse substances. He was even beaten so badly by his father that he had to be taken to the hospital with a severe concussion. Justin was fearful. He felt like he had to “walk on eggshells” because his home life was so unpredictable. He felt like nobody cared about him and so alone that he had suicidal ideations. Justin said he spent hours in his room, staying up at night and crying because he was so lonesome and afraid. But Justin has some qualities of resilience that may enable him to continue to turn his life around. Justin had the ability to recognize that his family was different from other families. He saw a woman with a “bright, lively face” and wanted to see those qualities in his own mother. He described his parents as “unhealthy.” In another part of the interview, Justin said he reached out to other families for support. Clearly those things demonstrate that Justin has some ability to look beyond his immediate

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