Like Father, Like Son? Young Men's Responses to Domestic Violence between Parents

D. Gadd, Mary Louise Corr, Claire Fox, Ian Butler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Why do some young people, especially some young men, respond to experiences of violence in childhood by reproducing the same behaviour in their own relationships? Are they necessarily behaving just like their fathers? Should their aggression be understood as a negative psychological effect arising out of exposure to domestic? What of some young men’s wishes to be different from the adult men who have abused their mothers? What of young men’s resilience to exposure to other men’s violence? This chapter begins by reviewing the literatures on the effects of domestic violence on children while explicating its limitations. It then examines the more qualitative literature that has highlighted young people’s resilience in the context of violence between parents, without necessarily recognising the gendered dimensions of this resilience. The chapter then attempts to deliver such an analysis through the use of case study derived from the ESRC funded ‘From Boys to Men Project’ (RES-062–23-2678). The chapter’s discussion points to the need to discern the meanings of particular incidents of violence and aggression in which young men are implicated, before assumptions are made about whether they too are ‘perpetrators’ just like their fathers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResponse Based Approaches to the Study of Interpersonal Violence
EditorsMargareta Hydén, David Gadd, Allan Wade
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781137409546
ISBN (Print)9781137409539
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2016


  • Domestic violence
  • Interpersonal violence
  • Child witness
  • Qualitative literature
  • Violent episode


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