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The Canadian Press

Abused Boys Become Abusive Men: more likely to commit domestic violence

Canadian Press, October 18, 2005

(HealthDay News) - Physically abused boys may be more likely than other boys to become men who commit domestic violence, a new study found.

The study of 197 men, aged 18 to 49, living in areas of Philadelphia with high rates of domestic violence found that a history of childhood physical abuse may be Read More ..mmon in men from cities, and that men who were physically abused as youngsters are more likely to commit domestic violence.

Of the men in the study, 51 percent had experienced some form of childhood physical abuse. The mean age of the start of that abuse was 8 years old and the mean age at the end of the abuse was 14 years old. The abuse included being kicked, hit with an object, choked, burned, bit, scalded or punched.

Approximately 75 percent of that abuse was perpetrated by parents - most often mothers - while the remainder was committed by extended family members and non-family members.

"The results provide a circumstantial case that abused boys may 'learn' that violence is an acceptable method of conflict resolution in the home. Our findings suggest that, at the very least, this cycle-of-violence connection deserves confirmation in a larger study," lead author Dr. William C. Holmes, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement.

"The findings point to a number of actions that can be taken. For example, screening for domestic violence and protecting those who screen positive should be as important in boys as it is in girls and women. Reducing the abuse of boys, as well as developing post-abuse interventions for boys who have been abused, will generate direct benefits for the boys and may help their future intimate partners and children," Holmes said.

The findings appear in the Oct. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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