Marital and severe parent-to-adolescent physical aggression in clinic-referred families: Mother and adolescent reports on co-occurence and links to child behavior problems.
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This study examined the interplay of marital and severe parental physical aggression, and their links to child behavior problems, in 232 families of clinic-referred adolescents. Combined reports from mothers and adolescents indicated that two thirds of adolescents exposed to marital aggression in the past year had also experienced parental aggression. Mothers and fathers who used and/or were victims of marital aggression were both more likely to direct aggression toward their adolescent. Mother and youth reports of marital aggression were tied to each party's report of greater externalizing problems and to youth reports of greater internalizing problems. Severe parental aggression uniquely predicted maternal reports of both behavior problems, after controlling for marital aggression; the reverse was not true. Also, adolescents exposed to both types of family aggression did not display greater maladjustment than those subjected to only one type of family aggression.
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