The Intergenerational Transmission of the Ecology of Family Life Adversity

By Julie Leventhal and Kee Jeong Kim.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 10, 2014 $US5.00

Cumulative family adversities often function as a cascade of risk, where multiple stressors lead to disruptions in family functioning and developmental vulnerabilities in children (Raviv et al. 2010). Multiple cumulative risks directly and indirectly (i.e., through various developmental mechanisms) predict child maladjustment, such as internalizing and externalizing behaviors. The aims of the present paper are to 1) review a wide range of sociocontextual and family factors identified in the literature 2) describe two specific developmental mechanisms linking cumulative risks to child maladjustment and 3) illustrate how the cumulative family adversities and the developmental mechanisms are likely to be replicated across multiple generations unless effective preventive interventions are provided. We conclude by exploring what these findings suggest for professionals and by addressing areas that can be improved regarding research and practice.

Keywords: Cumulative Adversity, Family Process, Intergenerational Transmission, Child Maladjustment

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 8, Issue 3, December 2014, pp.51-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 10, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 420.002KB)).

Julie Leventhal

Lecturer, Department of Educational Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA

Dr. Kee Jeong Kim

Associate Professor, The Department of Human Development, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA