Aggression Towards Parents—High Risk Behavioral Assessment

Background of the  Aggression Towards Parents—High Risk Behavioral Assessment:


When talking about adolescent aggression towards parents, one should first think about the complexities of human behavior within the family context: What are the limits for considering an action as acceptable or not when interacting with close relatives, and especially when this interaction is between parents and children? There is a great difficulty in defining the term “adolescent aggression towards parents” or “parental abuse” based on another difficulty, which is trying to distinguish between normative behaviours involving any kind of family conflict, rebellious attitude and defiant act, from those actions which entail an abusive behaviour against parents. In the second case, the abuse leads to a situation of humiliation, harassment and defiance of parental authority with the intention to domain and hurt parents. As some authors have remarked (Cottrell, 2001; Fernández, 2007) it includes the physical, psychological, emotional and financial dimensions. Thus, physical abuse implies hitting, punching, throwing things, and any other kind of physical violence; psychological abuse refers to intimidating and humiliating parents by means on many occasions of verbal violence; emotional abuse involves lies, blackmails and other malicious mind games such as manipulative threats; and financial abuse refers to stealing money from parents, selling their possessions or incurring debts that parents must cover. Studies on this area, however, are scant. This lack of research is of great concern due to the extremely negative consequences this type of behavior has on the family context and on physical and psychological health of family members. Along this chapter, we first introduce some data about the prevalence of the problem to continue analyzing the main risk factors highlighted in the scientific literature as closely related to such behaviour in adolescents. In the second part of the chapter, we describe an approach based on Family Therapy background, intended for working with parents whose children are out of control, or whose parents feel defeated and unable to manage them.

Items of the Aggression Towards Parents—High Risk Behavioral Assessment:


1
A. Do you know of kids who shout or curse at their parents? ■ Yes ■ No
B. How often? Rarely(1-3/year)‚ Occasionally(1-2/month)‚ Regularly (daily or 1-2/week)
2
A. Have any of your friends shouted‚ cursed‚ or hit their parents? ■ Yes ■ No
B. How often? Rarely(1-3/year)‚ Occasionally(1-2/month)‚ Regularly (daily or 1-2/week)
3
Why do you think your friends strike out at their parents?
 
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4
A. Have you ever shouted‚ cursed‚ or hit your parents? ■ Yes ■ No
B. How often? Rarely(1-3/year)‚ Occasionally(1-2/month)‚ Regularly (daily or 1-2/week)
C. Why did you shout‚ curse‚ or hit your parents?
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5
A. Why do you think parents shout or hit their children?
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B. Do you know of any adults who hit or yell at their children? ■ Yes ■ No
C. How often? Rarely(1-3/year)‚ Occasionally(1-2/month)‚ Regularly (daily or 1-2/week)
6
A. Have any of your friend’s parents hit or yelled at their children? ■ Yes ■ No
B. How often? Rarely(1-3/year)‚ Occasionally(1-2/month)‚ Regularly (daily or 1-2/week)
7
Why do you think some kids run away from home?
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B. Do you know of any kids who have run away from home? ■ Yes ■ No
C. How often? Rarely(1-3/year)‚ Occasionally(1-2/month)‚ Regularly (daily or 1-2/week)
8
A. Have any of your friends run away from home? ■ Yes ■ No
B. How often? Rarely(1-3/year)‚ Occasionally(1-2/month)‚ Regularly (daily or 1-2/week)
9
A. Have you ever run away from home? ■ Yes ■ No
B. How often? Rarely(1-3/year)‚ Occasionally(1-2/month)‚ Regularly (daily or 1-2/week)
C. Why did you run away from home?
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Psychometric properties of the Aggression Towards Parents—High Risk Behavioral Assessment:


This assessment measures the frequency with which peers or friends shout‚ curse‚ or hit their parents; or are recipients of these behaviors from their parents. Questions are asked during a one-on-one interview.

This instrument can be found on pages 191-192 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at:http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/YV_Compendium.pdf .


Students aged 8-18.

The number of “A” items to which the respondent answered “yes” are summed. Opened ended questions are not scored. For those respondents who scored at least 1‚ the frequency is calculated by averaging the answers for the “B” or “C” items (How often?). Point values are assigned as follows:
Rarely = 1
Occasionally = 2
Regularly = 3
A high score indicates a high level of exposure to aggressive family behavior.

References of the Aggression Towards Parents—High Risk Behavioral Assessment:


Dolan S. Doctoral Dissertation. Chicago‚ IL: University of Chicago‚ Department of Psychology‚1989.