Family Relationships as Risks and Buffers in the Link between Parent-to-Child Physical Violence and Adolescent-to-Parent Physical Violence
The present study examined the extent to which beneficial and hazardous family relationships altered the link between childhood exposure to parent-to-child physical violence and self-reported adolescent-to-parent physical violence (APV). As moderating factors, current levels of family cohesion, family conflict, and interparental violence were assessed. Based on data from 2490 ninth graders who took part in a large school survey in the federal state of Lower Saxony, Germany, multilevel linear probability models with interaction terms were conducted, using Stata 14.2. In case of significant interactions, values at 1 standard deviation above and below the mean level of each moderator were used to calculate the simple slopes. Regression results indicated that physical APV was positively related to parent-to-child physical violence. Family cohesion buffered detrimental effects of parent-to-child physical violence on physical APV, while family conflict exacerbated this link. Specifically, parent-to-child physical violence had weaker effects on physical APV for students who reported greater levels of family cohesion, while stronger effects were observed for students who reported greater levels of family conflict. Gender was not found to influence the strength of the moderating relationships. Both hazardous and beneficial family relationships alter the way childhood exposure to parental physical violence relates to adolescents’ physical aggression toward parents. For intervention purposes, special attention should be given to potential buffering resources, such as cohesive family relationships. In sum, quality of family relationships deserve greater attention in discourse about lasting, adverse effects of childhood exposure to physical violence on adolescent-to-parent physical violence.
KeywordsParent-to-child physical violence Adolescent-to-parent violence Moderators Family relationships Family conflict
I very much thank Marie Christine Bergmann, the project manager of the student survey, for kindly providing the corresponding data. I would also like to thank Solveig Haselbach for her support in the editing process.
- Agnew, R. (1992). Foundation for a general strain theory of crime and delinquency. Criminology, 30(1), 47–88. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.1992.tb01093.x.Google Scholar
- Agnew, R. (2006). Pressured into crime: An overview of general strain theory. Los Angeles: Roxbury Publ.Google Scholar
- Andrews, J. A., Foster, S. L., Capaldi, D., & Hops, H. (2000). Adolescent and family predictors of physical aggression, communication, and satisfaction in young adult couples: A prospective analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(2), 195–208.Google Scholar
- Baier, D., & Rehbein, F. (2013). Familiäre Erziehung und abweichendes Verhalten. Ein Vergleich der Geschlechter und Familienformen: [Parenting and deviant behaviour. A comparison of gender and family structures]. Zeitschrift Für Soziologie Der Erziehung Und Sozialisation. (4), 399–416.Google Scholar
- Beckmann, L., Bergmann, M. C., Fischer, F., & Mößle, T. (2017). Risk and protective factors of child-to-parent violence: A comparison between physical and verbal aggression. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 886260517746129. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260517746129.
- Buka, S. L., Stichick, T. L., Birdthistle, I., & Earls, F. J. (2001). Youth exposure to violence: Prevalence, risks, and consequences. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 71(3), 298–310.Google Scholar
- Calvete, E., Orue, I., Bertino, L., Gonzalez, Z., Montes, Y., Padilla, P., & Pereira, R. (2014). Child-to-parent violence in adolescents: The perspectives of the parents, children, and professionals in a sample of Spanish focus group participants. Journal of Family Violence, 29(3), 343–352. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-014-9578-5.Google Scholar
- Cicchetti, D., & Rogosch, F. A. (2002). A developmental psychopathology perspective on adolescence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70(1), 6–20.Google Scholar
- Cullerton-Sen, C., Cassidy, A. R., Murray-Close, D., Cicchetti, D., Crick, N. R., & Rogosch, F. A. (2008). Childhood maltreatment and the development of relational and physical aggression: The importance of a gender-informed approach. Child Development, 79(6), 1736–1751. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01222.x.Google Scholar
- Farrington, D. P. (2000). Explaining and preventing crime: The globalization of knowledge - the American Society of Criminology 1999 presidential address. Criminology, 38(1), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-9125.2000.tb00881.x.Google Scholar
- Gámez-Guadix, M., & Calvete, E. (2012). Child-to-parent violence and its association with exposure to marital violence and parent-to-child violence. Psicothema, 24(2), 277–283.Google Scholar
- Gelles, R. J., & Straus, M. A. (1979). Determinants of violence in the family: Towards a theoretical integration. In W. R. Burr (Ed.), Contemporary theories about the family (Chapter 21). New York: The free Press.Google Scholar
- Holmbeck, G. N. (2002). Post-hoc probing of significant moderational and mediational effects in studies of pediatric populations. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27(1), 87–96.Google Scholar
- Laird, R. D., Pettit, G. S., Bates, J. E., & Dodge, K. A. (2003). Parents’ monitoring-relevant knowledge and adolescents’ delinquent behavior: Evidence of correlated developmental changes and reciprocal influences. Child Development, 74(3), 752–768.Google Scholar
- Lansford, J. E., Sharma, C., Malone, P. S., Woodlief, D., Dodge, K. A., Oburu, P., et al. (2014). Corporal punishment, maternal warmth, and child adjustment: A longitudinal study in eight countries. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 43(4), 670–685. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2014.893518.Google Scholar
- Lefebvre, R., Fallon, B., van Wert, M., & Filippelli, J. (2017). Examining the relationship between economic hardship and child maltreatment using data from the Ontario incidence study of reported child abuse and Neglect-2013 (OIS-2013). Behavioral Sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 7(1). https://doi.org/10.3390/bs7010006.
- Marceau, K., Ram, N., & Susman, E. (2014). Development and lability in the parent-child relationship during adolescence: Associations with pubertal timing and tempo. Journal of Research on Adolescence : the Official Journal of the Society for Research on Adolescence, 25(3), 474–489. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12139.Google Scholar
- Snijders, T. A. B., & Bosker, R. J. (1999). Multilevel analysis: An introduction to basic and advanced multilevel modeling. London: SAGE Publ.Google Scholar
- Straus, M. A., & Smith, C. (1993). Family patterns and primary prevention of family violence. Trends in Health Care, Law & Ethics, 8(2), 17–25.Google Scholar
- Straus, M. A., Gelles, R. J., & Smith, C. (Eds.). (1990). Physical violence in American families: Risk factors and adaptations to violence in 8,145 families (2. print). New Brunswick: Transaction Publ.Google Scholar
- Turner, H. A., Shattuck, A., Finkelhor, D., & Hamby, S. (2015). Effects of poly-victimization on adolescent social support, self-concept, and psychological distress. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260515586376.
- Xia, Y., Li, S. D., & Liu, T.-H. (2018). The interrelationship between family violence, adolescent violence, and adolescent violent victimization: An application and extension of the cultural spillover theory in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020371.
- Xing, X., & Wang, M. (2016). Gender differences in the moderating effects of parental warmth and hostility on the association between corporal punishment and child externalizing behaviors in China. Journal of Child and Family Studies. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-016-0610-7.