CHILDREN and adults who were victims of child abuse are coming under intensified study by researchers who hope to learn what distinguishes those who go on to become abusers themselves from those who grow up to be good parents.
In the hope of finding ways to break the tragic cycle, the new research is identifying particular experiences in childhood and later in life that allow a great many abused children to overcome their sad legacy.
Studies also now indicate that about one-third of people who are abused in childhood will become abusers themselves. This is a lower percentage than many experts had expected, but obviously poses a major social challenge. The research also confirms that abuse in childhood increases the likelihood in adulthood of problems ranging from depression and alcoholism to sexual maladjustment and multiple personality.