Academic journal article The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

Behavioral Problems and Depressive Symptomatology as Predictors of Child-to-Parent Violence

Academic journal article The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

Behavioral Problems and Depressive Symptomatology as Predictors of Child-to-Parent Violence

Article excerpt


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Key words:

Domestic violence

Child-to-parent violence

Young offender


Behavior problems

Depressive symptomatology


The number of complaints filed by parents against their children nationwide has increased dramatically, particularly since 2005. The aim of this study was to examine whether young offenders who had been charged for violence against their parents presented different psychological problems from youngsters charged with other types of offence and non-offenders. Data from 231 adolescents of both sexes aged 14 to 18 years and living in the Basque Country (Spain) were analyzed. Of these, 106 were offenders and the rest were from a community sample. Some of the offenders had been charged with child-to-parent violence (n = 59), while the rest of them had not (n = 47). Offenders who had assaulted or abused their parents presented more behavior problems outside home and more characteristics associated with depressive symptomatology than offenders of other types or non-offenders. Certain psychological problems in adolescents could precipitate family conflict situations and leave parents unable to control their children. Findings highlight the need for offenders charged with child-to-parent violence to receive individual psychological therapy.

© 2014 Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. Production by Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.

Palabras clave:

Violencia doméstica

Violencia filio-parental

Menor infractor


Problemas conductuales

Sintomatología depresiva

Problemas conductuales y sintomatología depresiva como predictores de la violencia filio-parental


El número de denuncias por maltrato presentadas por los padres contra sus hijos a nivel nacional se ha incrementado de forma alarmante sobre todo a partir del año 2005. El objetivo de este estudio era comprobar si los menores infractores denunciados por maltrato a sus progenitores presentan diferentes problemas psicológicos que los infractores por otros delitos y los adolescentes no infractores. Para ello se analizaron los datos de 231 adolescentes entre 14 y 18 años del País Vasco (España) de ambos sexos, de los cuales 106 eran infractores y el resto procedía de la población general. Algunos de los infractores tenían delitos por violencia filio-parental (n = 59) mientras que el resto tenían delitos de otro tipo (n = 47). Los infractores que agreden a sus padres se caracterizan por presentar más problemas conductuales fuera del hogar y características asociadas a la sintomatología depresiva que los infractores por otros delitos o los que no son infractores. Determinados problemas psicológicos de los hijos podrían precipitar situaciones de conflicto en el seno familiar y los progenitores verse incapaces de controlarlos. Los resultados ponen de relieve la necesidad de que los infractores por violencia filio-parental reciban terapia psicológica individual.

© 2014 Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid. Producido por Elsevier España, S.L. Todos los derechos reservados.

In recent years, child-to-parent violence (CPV) has attracted increasing interest at both the scientific and clinical levels. An extensive review by Gallagher (2008) revealed that the prevalence of CPV worldwide is estimated at between 10% and 18%, while in the United States and Canada the prevalence figures for CPV range from 5% to 29% (Bobic, 2004; Downey, 1997; Laurent & Derry, 1999; Straus & Gelles, 1990). In Europe, research shows that this problem has been on the increase in the last few years (Wilcox & Pooley, 2012). It is surprising that although the victims (parents) are socially and economically (and in some cases even physically) more powerful than their children, it is still the children who wield control and power over their parents (Paterson, Luntz, Perlesz, & Cotton, 2002). …

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