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Childhood Maltreatment, Personality Pathology, and Intimate Partner Aggression.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence  (IF2.621),  Pub Date : 2022-06-01, DOI: 10.1177/08862605221076164
Susan C South,Michael J Boudreaux,Thomas F Oltmanns

The goal of the current study was to examine the early childhood roots of adult personality pathology and intimate partner aggression in later life. Childhood maltreatment is associated with perpetration of intimate partner aggression (IPA) in adulthood, although the effect is generally only small to moderate in size. Childhood maltreatment is also linked with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) personality disorders (PDs) in adulthood, which in turn are correlated with IPA in adult romantic relationships. This suggests that one pathway by which childhood maltreatment leads to adult IPA is through maladaptive personality patterns. In the current analyses, data from 495 older, racially diverse adults and their romantic partners recruited from the St. Louis Personality and Aging Network (SPAN) study were used to examine whether childhood maltreatment may impact adult IPA through adult personality pathology. Findings from structural equation modeling demonstrated that for most of the 10 DSM-5 PD (Section II) constructs, there was a significant indirect effect from childhood maltreatment to IPA in later life through a latent variable of personality pathology. Our findings confirm that IPA does occur among romantic partners in later life, that it is robustly associated with personality pathology traits in later life, and that personality pathology in later life may have its roots in early neglect and maltreatment.