In the interest of improving child maltreatment prevention, this prospective, longitudinal, community-based study of 499 mothers and their infants examined (a) direct associations between mothers' experiences of childhood maltreatment and their offspring's maltreatment, and (b) mothers' mental health problems, social isolation, and social information processing patterns (hostile attributions and aggressive response biases) as mediators of these associations. Mothers' childhood physical abuse--but not neglect--directly predicted offspring victimization. This association was mediated by mothers' social isolation and aggressive response biases. Findings are discussed in terms of specific implications for child maltreatment prevention.
© 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.