A recent study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health has found that women who were abused during their childhood are more likely to have children with autism spectrum disorders.
The study surveyed more than 50,000 women on whether or not they suffered any physical or mental abuse during their childhood. An indication of severe physical abuse, for example, would be being hit hard enough to leave a bruise. These women were also asked if their children have ever been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
The study accounted for the normal risk of autism as well as the fact that women who were abused are more likely to exhibit the behaviors that are suspected to contribute to the development of autism. These findings are important because they indicate that child abuse can affect the next generation in addition to the children who are abused.