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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199868 Find in a Library
Title: Verbal and Physical Abuse Toward Mothers: The Role of Family Configuration, Environment, and Coping Strategies
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:215-222
Author(s): Linda Pagani; Denis Larocque; Frank Vitaro; Richard E. Tremblay
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This study examined the interactions among a stressful family situation, parental divorce, and verbal and physical aggression toward mothers by adolescent children.
Abstract: The study obtained data from a larger longitudinal investigation of child development that involved a random sample of 6,397 children initially recruited from kindergarten in French-speaking public elementary schools in the 11 administrative regions of the Canadian Province of Quebec. The current study examined verbal and physical aggression toward mothers perpetrated by their 15-year-old adolescents (n=778). Verbal and physical aggression were determined through reports by both mothers and the adolescents. All children in the study were in intact families at age 6 when they became involved in the longitudinal study. At age 15, the year of the current study, three possible family configurations were determined: always-intact, divorced, and remarried. Multinomial logit modeling found that parental divorce was associated with a greater risk of physical aggression toward mothers by adolescent children. Family environment and parental coping strategies partially mediated that relationship. Mothers who divorced and had not remarried were at greater risk of being assaulted by their adolescent children. A positive family environment that reflected a better parent-child relationship partially diminished this risk; however, support-seeking behavior by the mothers increased the risk of abuse, concurrent with tyrannical strategies often mobilized by abusive children. 5 tables and 24 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Abused parents; Canada; Foreign criminal justice research; Juvenile offenders; Parent-Child Relations; Single parent families
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