Early Family Life and Victimization in the Lives of Women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to test a causal model designed to identify relationships among early family life experiences, including abuse; cognitive coping mechanisms and social support; and victimization in adult women. Women (N = 622) from several communities in Northeast Ohio responded to public announcements of the study and completed a questionnaire comprised of 10 scales measuring the model variables. The theoretical structures of the original model did not fit the empirical data. Nonsignificant paths were deleted and nonestimated paths that maximally improved fit were added sequentially to reconstruct the model. The reconstructed model included a network of multiple, mediated pathways leading to the outcome variable, current victimization. Although childhood abuse experiences and victimization throughout adulthood predicted current victimization, the general emotional health of the family of origin predicted victimization beyond the effects accounted for by earlier abuse experiences. The cognitive variables mediated the relationships between early and later abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-412
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood abuse
  • Cognitive processes
  • Family health
  • Social support
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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