Child on parent assault: The impact of parental nurturance and demandingness

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Donald K. Routh - Committee Chair


This study examined the impact of parental nurturance and parental demandingness on the physical assault of caregivers by their adolescent children. Subjects were divided into a Domestic Violence (DV) group and a Non-Domestic Violence (Non-DV) group, and the two groups were examined on demographic data, parental variables, and reported history of abuse. Analyses of variance and chi-square analyses yielded no significant differences between groups on variables such as age, race and ethnicity, intactness of household, or substance abuse. However, analyses indicated children in the DV group were more likely to be taking some form of psychiatric medication. Furthermore, gender differences were noted following analyses, demonstrating that a larger percentage of arrests within the DV group were female as compared to the percentage of female arrests in the Non-DV group. Children in the DV group were also more likely to report being victims of physical abuse, but there were no significant differences found between groups in terms of other forms of abuse. Logistic regression analysis indicated that as levels of parental nurturance decrease, the odds of an adolescent committing a domestic violence offense against a caregiver increase. A similar trend was found for the parental demandingness variable, which demonstrated that as parental demandingness decreased, the odds of an adolescent committing a domestic violence act increased. Although both of these variables have unique influences in predicting domestic violence, the interaction of the two variables did not contribute significantly to the prediction of domestic violence.


Psychology, Social; Psychology, Clinical; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

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