Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 273–281 | Cite as

Psychiatric Disorders of Parents of Physically Abused Adolescents

  • Sandra J. Kaplan
  • Suzanne R. Sunday
  • Victor Labruna
  • David Pelcovitz
  • Suzanne Salzinger
Original Article


Psychiatric disorders of 142 parents of adolescents who were documented as physically abused during adolescence and 168 parents of non-abused comparison adolescents were assessed. Fathers and mothers of physically abused adolescents exhibited higher rates of Axis I diagnoses and co-occurring disorders, and had more impaired GAS scores than comparison parents. Fathers of abused adolescents had greater lifetime incidence of Conduct Disorder and Substance Abuse/Dependence than comparison fathers. Mothers of abused adolescents had more unipolar depressive disorders than comparison mothers. This study highlights the importance of mental health assessments and interventions for parents of physically abused adolescents. Since onsets of parental psychiatric disorders antedated the abuse, early recognition and treatment of parental disorders may contribute to prevention of the onset and/or reoccurrence of adolescent physical abuse.


Physical abuse Parents Psychopathology Adolescents 



Earlier portions of this paper were presented at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, New Orleans, LA, November 14–18, 2004. Funding for this project was provided by NIMH grant RO1-MH43772 and R01-MH602642. The authors wish to thank CA, Inc. for their support of our family violence research efforts. Reprint requests should be send to: Sandra J. Kaplan, M.D., Division of Trauma Psychiatry, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, 400 Community Drive, Manhasset, N.Y 11030,


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra J. Kaplan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suzanne R. Sunday
    • 1
    • 2
  • Victor Labruna
    • 1
    • 2
  • David Pelcovitz
    • 3
  • Suzanne Salzinger
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of Trauma Psychiatry, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health SystemNorth Shore University Hospital-The Zucker Hillside HospitalManhassetUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Education and Psychology, Azrieli Graduate SchoolYeshiva UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Division of Child PsychiatryNew York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University Department of PsychiatryNew YorkUSA

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