The paper illustrates the complexity of human behaviour and the cycle of repetitive abusive or maladjusted behaviour patterns that may lead to inter-generational cycles of maladjustment or failure to integrate into society. The paper also examines the multiple potential links between cause and effect when applied to human behaviour and highlights the potential interplay between environmental influences and genetic factors. It became apparent that more research is required in order to improve our current understanding of causative connections between these factors and the author feels it appropriate to point out that long-term studies examining such causative links would be beneficial for a quantitative analysis of abused to abuser behaviour cycles. The objectives of my research were to establish whether there is a causative link between abuse experienced in childhood and children becoming abusers in turn. In particular, I researched evidence linking sexual and violent abuse suffered in childhood to a cycle of abuse. Statistically most children are abused at home or by people known to them and it is therefore paramount to investigate the domestic environments and circumstances that may trigger and potentially pass on abusive behaviour patterns, leading to a cycle of violence which is passed down from one generation to the next. I also investigated whether there may be factors not connected to abuse that turn children into abusers and found that other factors, such as passive consumption of scenes of violence via the media or computer games including scenes of violence, socio-economic and genetic factors can contribute to increased incidents of violent and abusive behaviour in children and teenagers. In recent years, the topic of child sexual or physical abusers of other children has been widely discussed in the media.
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