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19 April 2011

Less violence when you 'matter' to family

Adolescents who believe they matter to their families are less likely to threaten or engage in violence against family members.

Adolescents who believe they matter to their families are less likely to threaten or engage in violence against family members, according to a new study, led by Brown University sociologist Gregory Elliott. The research is published in the Journal of Family Issues.

The data for this analysis comes from telephone interviews with a national sample of 2,004 adolescents, age 11-18, as part of the 2000 Youth Risk Behaviour Survey. Controlling for age, gender, race, religiosity, and family socioeconomic structure and size, the findings reveal that failing to matter to one's family increases the probability of violence, whereas a strong feeling of mattering is likely to protect the adolescent from engaging in violent behaviour toward a family member.

  • Girls hit family members more than boys do.
  • Children from larger families are more likely to use violence.
  • If religion is important in one's life, the likelihood of family violence diminishes.
  • Children whose parents did postgraduate study are more likely to enact violence than those whose parents did not finish high school.

 
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