To explore the association between women's self-reports of having witnessed intimate partner violence (IPV) as a child and their children witnessing IPV.
Retrospective cohort study. Data were collected by telephone survey from December 2003 to August 2005.
Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, Washington, a health maintenance organization.
English-speaking women (N = 1288) aged 18 to 64 years enrolled at Group Health Cooperative for at least 3 years.
Abused women with children were asked about their history of having witnessed IPV as a child (1 question). Abused women were identified using 5 questions from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey and using 10 items from the Women's Experience With Battering Scale. Abused women were asked if their children had ever witnessed IPV.
Adjusting for mothers' race/ethnicity and education level, children of women who had witnessed IPV during childhood had 1.29 times higher odds of witnessing IPV than children of women who did not witness IPV during childhood.
Children of women who had witnessed IPV during childhood are more likely to witness IPV than children of women who did not witness IPV.