Child maltreatment is a significant public health problem. The history of maltreatment poses negative effects not only on the victims but also the future generations through the continuity of maltreatment. While the majority of the individuals who experienced maltreatment break the cycle, the mechanisms for discontinuity, especially the whole picture of moderating effects of protective factors have not been well documented. This paper aims to review and summarize the previous studies for protective factors and propose some recommendations for potential intervention and future research. 19 articles analyzing at least one protective factor in the context of intergenerational continuity of child maltreatment were reviewed. The protective factors were found across the individual, relationship, and contextual levels, while the majority of studies focused on individual and relational factors. Since fewer experiences of maltreatment and fewer traumatic or psychological symptoms were associated with the discontinuity, early detection and intervention, as well as treatment with the life course perspectives are essential. Also, the role of supportive relationships with partners was highlighted in numerous studies. Parental intervention such as home visitation or other preventive measures for maltreatment should involve partners more effectively, since partners can show good models for parenting, can provide emotional support, and can be a source of social support. Future studies should explore more contextual protective factors to end the cycle of maltreatment.
Published Date: 2021-11-22; Received Date: 2021-08-26