• unlimited access with print and download
    $ 37 00
  • read full document, no print or download, expires after 72 hours
    $ 4 99
More info
Unlimited access including download and printing, plus availability for reading and annotating in your in your Udini library.
  • Access to this article in your Udini library for 72 hours from purchase.
  • The article will not be available for download or print.
  • Upgrade to the full version of this document at a reduced price.
  • Your trial access payment is credited when purchasing the full version.
Buy
Continue searching

The cycle of violence: Addressing victimization & future harmfulness through an integral lens

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Patrick J Harvey
Abstract:
This qualitative study explores self development subsequent to childhood victimization. Supported by Integral Theory's (Wilber, 1999) conceptualization of the self-system, 15 licensed clinicians were interviewed via telephone to collect data regarding the developmental processes and characteristic qualities of harmful and nonharmful victims, the two general outcomes addressed by the cycle of violence (COV) hypothesis. Multiple phases of analysis led to the identification of developmental processes and characteristic qualities for three victim groups based on relative harmfulness: nonharmful victims; moderately or self harmful victims; and globally harmful victims. Findings in relation to each of the victim groups were also used to create general propositions of an integral victimology. Along with their relative placement on a continuum of risk for completing the COV, individuals within the three identified victim groups can also be conceptualized as being spiritual attuned or misattuned in relation to healthy and normative development.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page I INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................1

The Study ..........................................................................................................5

II DEVELOPMENTAL VICTIMOLOGY & THE INTEGRAL MODEL ........12

Introduction .....................................................................................................12 Developmental Victimology’s Four Dimension Impact Model ......................14 Developmental Victimology’s Effect Typology ..............................................22 An Integral Focus: Describing the Totality of Humanness .............................26 Chapter II Summary ........................................................................................43

III SELF DEVELOPMENT & VICTIMIZATION: AN INTEGRAL VICTIMOLOGY .............................................................................................45

Introduction .....................................................................................................45 The Integral Self-System .................................................................................46 An Integral Victimology ..................................................................................62 Chapter III Summary .......................................................................................67

IV METHODS ......................................................................................................69

General Methodology ......................................................................................69 Sampling ..........................................................................................................70

Data Collection Procedures ..............................................................................74 General Analytic Plan ......................................................................................76

Conclusion to Chapter IV ................................................................................82

V ANALYSIS & FINDINGS ..............................................................................84

Participant Characteristics & Analysis ............................................................84 Phase I Findings ...............................................................................................86

Phase II Findings ..........................................................................................118 Conclusion to Chapter V ................................................................................134

VI DISCUSSION ................................................................................................136

Addressing the Research Questions ...............................................................137 Clarifying Spiritual Considerations ...............................................................153 Assessing the Utility of an Integral Victimology ..........................................159

Future Research Implications ........................................................................166 Policy & Treatment Implications ...................................................................167

x

Strengths & Limitations .................................................................................170 Conclusion ....................................................................................................177

REFERENCES ................................................................................................................179

APPENDICES .................................................................................................................191

Appendix A - Initial Contact Letter, Consent Form, Questionnaire ..............191 Appendix B - Table of Participant Characteristics ........................................194 Appendix C - Table of Themes, Categories, and Codes/Frequencies ...........195

xi

LIST OF TABLES

Table Page

1 Developmental Victimology’s Four Dimension Impact Model ............................21 2 The Self System: Components, Characteristics & Processes ................................61 3 Specific Propositions of an Integral Victimology ..................................................68 4 Analytic Shell Matrix .............................................................................................80 5 Analysis Procedures ...............................................................................................83 6 Summary of Phase I Findings ..............................................................................117 7 Self System Qualities for Three Victim Groups ..................................................127 8 Propositions of an Applied Integral Victimology ................................................133 9 Comparative Descriptions of Self Stages/Fulcrums ............................................145

xii

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Page

1 The Basic Structures of Consciousness ...................................................................30

2 The Integral Psychograph ........................................................................................36

3 The Four Quadrants of the Kosmos ........................................................................42

4 The Components of the Integral Self System ..........................................................49

5 The

Developmental Drives of the Self System ......................................... 56 (& 119)

6 Potential Quadrant Considerations related to Victim Group NHV .......................129

7 Potential Quadrant Considerations related to Victim Group HV-I .......................130

8 Potential Quadrant Considerations related to Victim Group HV-II ......................131

9 The Basic Structures and the Self Stages ..............................................................141

10 Research and Theory related to the Findings ........................................................165

1

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Today there is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. I feel that we've got to look at this total thing anew and recognize that we must live together. That the whole world now it is one--not only geographically but it has to become one in terms of brotherly concern.

[Excerpt from a 1967 interview of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Arnold Michaelis. Available from The King Center‘s official website at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/prog/non/excerpt.html]

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), United States citizens aged 12 or older were the subjects of 3.7 million violent crimes during 2006 (Rand & Catalano, 2007). Although these official numbers include incidents of rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, or simple assault, they do not include homicide data. If we add in the homicide data, the number of violence-related incidents grows by the 17,034 people estimated to have been murdered during 2006 (United States Department of Justice, 2007). And, as if these figures are not enough to raise concern, acts of violence committed toward the self in the form of suicide, suicide attempts, and self-mutilation can also be included. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that suicide took the lives of over 32,000 people in 2005 and that 372,722 individuals were hospitalized due to self-inflicted injuries during this same year (CDC, 2008). Furthermore, the NCVS numbers do not include crimes or acts of harm committed against people less than 12 years of age. During 2006, child protection agencies within the U.S. confirmed over 900,000 of 3.6 million reports of child maltreatment. Of the 900,000 confirmed maltreatment cases, 64% of the children were victims of neglect, 16% were physically victimized, 9% were sexually victimized, and

2

7% were emotionally victimized (CDC, 2008). It is also estimated that over 1,500 children died as a result of their maltreatment. While considering these prevalence and incidence data, it may also be important to realize that these counts likely represent the tip of an iceberg; it is generally accepted by experts that the actual prevalence and/or incidence of child maltreatment is much higher than the officially substantiated reports indicate. In addition to U.S. based data, human harmfulness has received attention on the global stage as well. In 2002, the World Health Organization published the World Report on Violence and Health as a response to their 1996 declaration that violence is a major and growing public health problem across the world. The numbers from this 372-page publication report that, during the year 2000 alone, an estimated 1.6 million people worldwide died as a result of self-inflicted, interpersonal, or collective violence (Krug, Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi, & Lozano, 2002).

It seems clear that over the course of our history, and in varying forms, human beings have continually exhibited a prolific capacity for harming one another or themselves through interpersonal violence. Although causes and outcomes related to our capacities for harmful and violent behavior have been the objects of much observation and study by an array of philosophers, scientific researchers, religious leaders, and clinical practitioners (Athens, 1986; 1997; Briere, 1992; 2002; Finkelhor & Hashima, 2001; Gelles & Straus, 1988; Gilligan, 1996; Herman, 1992; Macmillan, 2001; Miller, 1984; 2002; Straus, 1996; 2001; Terr, 1990; Widom, 1989; 1992), the amount of suffering attributable to interpersonal violence remains vast. Whether opinion surrounding our treatment of one another is founded on official data, select research

3

endeavors, or on non-scientific causal observations, it is hard to deny the significance and magnitude of suffering caused by human violence. On both societal and individual levels, the costs and consequences associated with human violence and victimization can be described as monumental. For example, Meadows (2004) uses a variety of indicators (e.g., lost wages, hospital treatment, etc.) to conclude that interpersonal victimization costs American society approximately $450 billion annually. Meadows further states that 85-90% of these costs are emotional or intangible costs related to victimization. Although an obviously difficult task, intangible cost estimates represent an attempt by economists using various measures to financially quantify the “diminished quality of life” related to the emotional pain and suffering for those who suffer victimization. In relation to understanding the various costs of victimization better, researchers continue to explore the etiology and effects of human violence and victimization from an array of theoretical perspectives using various methodologies (see Athens, 1986; 1992; 1997; Finkelhor, 1995; 1997; Finkelhor & Kendall-Tackett, 1997; Gilligan, 1996; 2001; Macmillan, 2001; Terr, 1990). One perspective found within violence and victimization related research is the cycle of violence (COV) hypothesis which attempts to explain the etiology of harmful functioning as being learned or intergenerationally transmitted through an adult-teacher- perpetrator to child-student-victim dynamic (Athens, 1997; Gelles & Straus, 1988; Kaufman & Zigler, 1989; Miller, 1984; 2002; Weeks & Widom, 1998; Widom, 1989; 1992; Widom & Maxfield, 2001). Although this is not the only perspective available for consideration, the COV hypothesis speaks directly to a theory of intergenerational transmission, or creation of harmfulness in another person by having suffered

4

victimization oneself. Within this intergenerational cycle, a younger individual as a novice or pupil learns that the use of harmful behavior is justifiable, appropriate, and perhaps even a moral duty or obligation, because he/she is taught

this by an older, more experienced member of his/her primary group. Using a social learning model of human behavior, having experienced their teacher’s violent behavior him or herself, the pupil basically incorporates or adapts to the legitimacy of the belief system and behavioral repertoire of the teacher, learning to value harmfulness over non-harmfulness (Athens, 1992; 1997; Bandura, 1973; 1977). Although displays of violent or victimizing behavior may begin through basic imitation or mimicking of behavior modeled by their teachers, the display of violent and victimizing behavior eventually becomes an ingrained cognitive/behavioral pattern of individual functioning for the pupil-victim. In short, harmfulness is taught by the older person and it is learned by the younger and, unless disrupted, the COV hypothesis presupposes that child victims are likely to become child victimizers (Gelles & Straus, 1988; Miller, 1984; 2002; Straus, 1996; 2001). Related studies indicate some support for the COV hypothesis, and it is clear that some perpetrators of violent harm possess developmental histories of prior victimization (Athens, 1992, 1997; Gelles & Straus, 1988; Harlow, 1999; Menard, 2002; Miller, 1984; 2002; Shaffer & Ruback, 2002; Thornberry, Huizinga, & Loeber, 2004; Straus, 1996; 2001). Widom and Maxfield (2001) report that being abused or neglected as a child increases the likelihood of being arrested for a violent crime by over 30%, along with the overall likelihood of juvenile and adult arrests increasing by 59% and 28% respectfully. In their study, Weeks and Widom (1989) report that 68% of a sample of adult male felons self-reported some form of victimization prior to age twelve and Harlow (1999) reports

5

that 19% of state inmates, 10% of federal inmates, and 16% of those in local jails also have significant abuse histories. Despite these positive correlations being documented in COV-related research, it is important to acknowledge that, although many perpetrators of harm may possess victimization histories, most victims of harm somehow refrain from becoming perpetrators of harm themselves (Cicchetti, 1989; English, Widom, & Brandford, 2002; Kaufman & Zigler, 1989; Widom & Maxfield, 2001). Research has shown a wide range of variation in relation to victims who complete an intergenerational cycle of violence; prevalence data for childhood victims who complete that COV and develop into harmful adults can range from 10%-80% depending on which study is being examined. As several studies described in greater detail, cross-study variation in COV completion data can be attributed to the research designs and methodologies used by various researchers (Cicchetti, 1989; English et al., 2002; Kaufman & Zigler, 1989; Widom, 1989a). Even within the context of these discrepant findings, it seems valid to conclude that, although childhood victimization may predispose one toward adult harmfulness, it is certainly not an inevitable behavioral outcome in relation to childhood victimization. Corresponding to what can be termed partial support for the COV hypothesis, this research specifically explores the question of why some victims disrupt the intergenerational cycle of violence whereas others go on to complete it. The Study Supporting Frameworks As there appears to be a substantial body of research indicating a positive relationship between prior victimization and future violent criminality, this project incorporates the COV hypothesis to explore the developmental elements that describe

6

and explain why some childhood victims develop into harmful adults and why others seem to avoid this outcome. Macmillan (2001) states, in his review of relevant literature on the topic of developmental aspects and life course consequences related to victimization, “violence appears as a salient and powerful life experience that shapes developmental pathways and influences the character and content of later life” (p. 11, italics added). Macmillan goes on to suggest that, although an abundance of research supports the presence of significant life course consequences related to victimization, comparatively little research exists as to why or how these consequences manifest. In other words, the specific elements related to why victimization has long-term consequences for certain people remains comparatively under-studied, although the fact that the experience of suffering victimization corresponds to lasting or life course-related outcomes for some people, is generally accepted (see Athens, 1992; 1997; Bowlby, 1980; 1982; Briere, 1992; 2002; Herman, 1992; Moffitt, 1993; Siegel, 1999; Terr, 1990; 1991; Wilber, 1999; 2001). Another criticism shared by Macmillan is that extant research focuses on individual, psychological aspects of victimization to the comparative neglect of social psychological and social structural aspects. In support of these claims, this project acknowledges that COV-related research has generally been outcome-oriented or overly-focused on describing the mere presence of differential outcomes related to childhood victimization without fully describing the etiology or developmental qualities of these outcomes. As such, this project’s primary focus is to describe the developmental processes and characteristic qualities of more harmful victims in comparison to the less or non-harmful victims, the two victim groups traditionally addressed by the COV hypothesis.

7

Along with using the COV hypothesis as a focusing lens, this research finds further conceptual support from frameworks offered by Developmental Victimology (Finkelhor, 1995; 1997; Finkelhor & Kendall-Tackett, 1997) and Integral Theory (Wilber, 1999). As a relatively newer sub-field of scientific inquiry, Developmental Victimology (DV) incorporates interdisciplinary knowledge to generate a theoretical framework applicable for exploring the effects of childhood victimization across and within interpersonal and intrapersonal domains (Finkelhor, 1995; 1997; Finkelhor & Kendall-Tackett, 1997; Macmillan, 2001). Referred to as a “victimology of childhood” within the literature, DV is comprised of a risk branch and an effect branch related to victimizations occurring during the childhood stages of life (Finkelhor, 1995). Specific to this project, DV’s effect branch provides a four dimension impact model as a framework for studying developmental effects of childhood victimization. Within DV’s impact model, developmental effects of victimization are explored by considering a victim’s subjective appraisals of an event, impact in relation to attainment of developmental milestones, the availability of a victim’s coping and symptom expression capacities, and the availability of external resources (Finkelhor, 1997; Finkelhor & Hashima, 2001; Finkelhor & Kendall-Tackett, 1997). Discussed in detail within Chapter II, the DV impact model incorporates these interpersonal and intrapersonal factors and provides an effect typology that includes generic/specific, localized/developmental, and direct/indirect effects of suffering childhood victimization (Finkelhor & Kendall-Tackett, 1997). Although the DV impact model offers a fairly comprehensive model for studying the effects of childhood victimization, specific features of human/self development are

8

not attended to as rigorously. In relation to this assessment, to meet the intents of this project it was necessary to locate and incorporate a more comprehensive model of self- development. In other words, to fully understand the long-term, developmental outcomes attended to by the COV hypothesis, the more harmful self and its development would be explored in comparison to the less harmful self and its development. Accordingly, to build greater understanding into the intergenerational transmission of human harmfulness, elements of DV’s impact model are integrated with Integral Theory’s conceptualization of the developing self and the AQAL Model (AQAL is an acronym for all quadrants , all levels and is pronounced “ah-qwal”; Integral Naked, 2004; Wilber, 1999; 2000; 2001). Integral Theory provides a comprehensive model of the developing self or self-system by detailing various structural, process, and task oriented elements and as such, variability in characteristic qualities and processes specific to the integral self- system became dependent variables of interest for this project. Briefly, the integral self is conceptualized as possessing structural components that include the proximate, distal, and antecedent self. Core processes related to the self system’s development involve differentiating or de-embedding from one level or stage of development and integrating/including information from lower developmental stages into current stages. The self also has the responsibility for performing vital tasks related to metabolizing and organizing experience, providing a sense of identity for the system, directing decision or choice-making, and navigating its growth through the spiral of development (Wilber, 1997; 1999; 2000). In addition to the attributes of the self-system, Integral Theory further articulates the nature of self development by using the quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types of development that comprised the AQAL Model (Gibbs, Giever, & Polber, 2000;

9

Integral Naked, 2004; Wilber, 2001). As subsequent chapters detail, the integration of the core tenets of DV’s impact model with the integral self-system and AQAL Model permit developmental victimology to evolve into what can be termed an integral victimology. It is the model of integral victimology that ultimately provides support for the deeper exploration of the COV hypothesis completed by this study. Method of Inquiry As this effort was concerned with uncovering the differential developmental aspects of those who suffer interpersonal victimization during childhood, the character and content of life courses specific to these individuals became units of analysis. To collect data for this research, as opposed to sampling victimized people directly, professionals who are both intimately and more objectively aware of these victimization dynamics were selected to participate in semi-structured qualitative interviews. In other words, a method of interviewing experts was incorporated by this research to tap into the more qualitative features of more harmful and less harmful victims. The selected sample consisted of clinical experts who are trained and experienced in assessing and treating the developmental effects of childhood victimization: professionals who are granted the opportunity to become intimately aware of their clients’ victimization experiences and the consequences of those experiences. Because defense mechanisms that mask or distance victimization effects from subjective consciousness may be involved (see Briere, 1992; Herman, 1992; Miller, 1984; 2002; Terr, 1990; 1991; Widom, 1989a), it was assumed that selected professionals possessed greater awareness of and insight into the effects of victimization than do the victims themselves. All counseling specialists invited for inclusion in this project possessed expertise in the area of treating violence-related

10

trauma and/or working with violent individuals. For the purpose of securing sufficient variation in the collected data, sampling occurred across three sub-groups of clinicians that had varying educational, theoretical, and occupational backgrounds. Overview of the Study To summarize, suffering interpersonal victimization (i.e., trauma) is assumed to impact the self development or self-concepts of victims and their subsequent behavioral functioning. Chapter II of this dissertation begins with a discussion of relevant literature from the field of developmental victimology (DV) regarding the effects of childhood victimization and presents DV’s Four Dimension Impact Model (Finkelhor & Kendall- Tackett, 1997). Subsequent sections of Chapter II are used to introduce Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and the AQAL Model as a framework that honors the inherent interrelationships of individual-subjective and collective-objective elements regarding human life and development, especially as these are impacted through childhood victimization experiences. Chapter III builds off this introductory discussion of the AQAL Model and provides a more detailed discussion of the major area of concern for this research - the integral self-system. After Integral Theory’s comprehensive model of the human self has been introduced, an integration of these self elements with those from DV’s Impact Model leads to a presentation of what is referred to here as an integral victimology and a set of related propositions. Chapter IV presents the formal research questions and methods used for discovering the structural and process-oriented self systems of harmful and non-harmful victims and Chapter V contains details about participant characteristics, along with the analysis and findings related to the methods. As a concluding chapter, Chapter VI, specifically addresses each research question,

11

discusses research and policy implications, and attends to perceived threats to the validity of the findings.

12

CHAPTER II DEVELOPMENTAL VICTIMOLOGY & THE INTEGRAL MODEL

Development can be conceived as a series of qualitative reorganizations among and within behavioral systems, which occur through the processes of differentiation and hierarchical integration. Variables at many levels of analysis determine the character of these reorganizations: genetic, constitutional, neurobiological, biochemical, behavioral, psychological, environmental, and sociological. Furthermore, these variables are seen in dynamic transaction with one another. (Cicchetti, 1989, p.379)

Introduction With the publication of Kempe, Silverman, Steele, Droegemueller, and Silver’s (1962) Battered Child Syndrome , childhood maltreatment began to receive greater attention across multiple facets of American society. As part of this increased attention, the scientific and academic communities began making dynamics related to childhood maltreatment a more prominent topic of research. Also, in response to this heightened interest and concern, professionals working within the child welfare, social sciences, and criminal justice fields were called upon to address both preventive and punitive issues related to childhood abuse. In the 20-30 years post Kempe et al., interest in childhood abuse remained an area of major emphasis within a wide range of fields of study, including criminology. Fields such as anthropology, descriptive psychopathology, developmental psychology, epidemiology, experimental psychology, neuropsychology, ecology, mental or cognitive psychology, pediatrics, primatology, psycho-physiology, social learning theory, social work, and sociobiology were involved with theorizing and research pertaining to childhood victimization (Cicchetti, 1989). In other words, a myriad

13

of theoretical perspectives and research methodologies were being used to study childhood maltreatment. What becomes clear by sifting through these multiple and varied efforts is that childhood victimization carries a potential to trigger substantial suffering in both the short-term and throughout the life-course. Furthermore, whether occurring through acts of omission or commission, or acts described as criminal or non-criminal, childhood victimization impacts multiple realms of functioning (Aber, Allen, Carlson, and Cicchetti, 1989; Briere, 1992; 2002; Cicchetti, 1989; Cicchetti & Carlson, 1989; Erickson, Egeland, and Pianta, 1989; Finkelhor, 1995; Herman, 1992; Macmillan, 2001; Menard, 2002). Victimization is an experience suffered by many of us, and development is a naturally occurring process common to all of us. An exploration into where these common experiences, one natural and another one human-made, specifically blend and intersect can potentially lead to a deeper understanding into the causes and effects of human harmfulness. As the developmental psychopathologist Cicchetti (1989) proposes, if the goal of understanding and explaining how, and where, the two highly complex phenomena of childhood development and maltreatment intersect is to be realized, a model capable of integrating these efforts would indeed prove useful. To construct such a model, this chapter initially presents a supportive victimization impact model from the field of DV. Subsequent to the presentation of DV’s impact model, Ken Wilber’s (1997; 1999; 2000; 2005; and Integral Naked, 2004) AQAL Model is introduced. Once the two frameworks from DV and Integral Theory are combined, the opportunity to more fully explore the COV hypothesis through an integral victimology becomes more tangible.

Full document contains 208 pages
Abstract: This qualitative study explores self development subsequent to childhood victimization. Supported by Integral Theory's (Wilber, 1999) conceptualization of the self-system, 15 licensed clinicians were interviewed via telephone to collect data regarding the developmental processes and characteristic qualities of harmful and nonharmful victims, the two general outcomes addressed by the cycle of violence (COV) hypothesis. Multiple phases of analysis led to the identification of developmental processes and characteristic qualities for three victim groups based on relative harmfulness: nonharmful victims; moderately or self harmful victims; and globally harmful victims. Findings in relation to each of the victim groups were also used to create general propositions of an integral victimology. Along with their relative placement on a continuum of risk for completing the COV, individuals within the three identified victim groups can also be conceptualized as being spiritual attuned or misattuned in relation to healthy and normative development.