Psychological Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Intergenerational maltreatment in parent–child dyads from Burundi, Africa: Associations among parental depression and connectedness, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and aggression in children

Ruby Charak, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
JTVM de Jong, University of Amsterdam
Lidewyde H. Berckmoes, Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement
Herman Ndayisaba, Transcultural Pscyhosocial Organisation
Ria Reis, Leiden University

© 2021 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies


Studies investigating the associations between histories of childhood maltreatment (CM) in parent–child dyads have primarily involved samples from high-income countries; however, CM rates are higher in low- and middle-income countries. The present study aimed to examine the (a) association between maltreatment in parents and maltreatment of their children through risk (i.e., parent depression) and protective (i.e., parent–child connectedness) factors and (b) associations between CM in children with aggression through posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and peer/sibling victimization. Participants were 227 parent–child dyads from Burundi, Africa, a low-income country. Parents were 18 years of age or older, and children were 12–18 years (M = 14.76, SD = 1.88, 57.7% female). Among parents, 20.7%–69.5% of participants reported a history of physical and emotional abuse and neglect; among children, the rates of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse ranged from 14.5% to 89.4%. A history of CM in parents was associated with CM in children, B = 0.19, p < .01, and CM in parents was indirectly associated with CM in children through parent–child connectedness, β = .04, 95% CI [.01, .10], and parental depression, β = .08, 95% CI [.03, .15]. In children, maltreatment was positively associated with peer/sibling victimization, and CM was associated with aggression, β = .07, 95% CI [.04, 0.11], through PTSS but not via peer/sibling victimization. Continued efforts to improve CM-related preventive strategies and the accessibility of prevention services are needed to reduce CM in low-income countries such as Burundi.