Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.




The purpose of this study was to investigate whether violent behavior in adolescence is transmitted intergenerationally and, if so, what the mechanisms of that transmission are. From a review of published empirical research potential mechanisms were identified as parental identification, role-modelling, low self-esteem, psychotic personality traits, externalising defenses, and social difficulties. Also examined was the role of emotional overcontrol. From the review a need was identified for a research design whereby a model of the intergenerational transmission of violence can be tested. Seventy-five consecutive male admissions to a Young Offenders Unit and twenty-five male high school students were administered an intelligence test, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Culture-Free Self-Esteem Inventory, and a Structured Adolescent Interview Schedule. Violent behavior in adolescence was found to be transmitted intergenerationally when paternal violence is experienced. The mechanism of this transmission was found to be a greater use of externalising defenses and more psychotic personality traits. Paternal identification and female sex-role identification were found to suppress the intergenerational transmission of violent behavior in adolescence. Violent behavior in adolescence was not found to be transmitted intergenerationally when maternal violence is experienced or parental violence is witnessed, nor via role-modelling or emotional overcontrol. Social difficulties and low self-esteem were hypothesized to be by-products of childhood trauma that have little explanatory power for the intergenerational transmission of violent behavior in adolescence.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1989 .T783. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 50-03, Section: B, page: 1125. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1989.