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Characteristics of adolescent violence towards parents – a Rapid Evidence Assessment

Lauren Grace Moulds (Department of Psychology, Deakin University, Burwood, Australia)
Andrew Day (James Cook University, Townsville, Australia)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 10 July 2017




Adolescent violence towards parents (AVTP) has damaging impacts on family relationships, however, little is known about the characteristics of the families in which it occurs. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize current knowledge of the AVTP characteristics to help to inform the development of more effective community responses.


The paper opted for a Rapid Evidence Assessment taking an ecological approach to organize current knowledge about the characteristics of both victims and perpetrators of AVTP. It synthesized 20 empirical studies identified from a systemic review of published literature.


The assessment concludes that adolescents who perpetrate AVTP typically experience high levels of comorbid mental health concerns, drug and alcohol use, anger difficulties and trauma. The victims (parents) are characterized as having strained relationships with other family members and trauma profiles.

Practical implications

Policy and practice responses should be tailored to systemically address needs in the identified areas. This review further illustrates the limitations of current knowledge, highlighting inconsistencies in both definitions and findings, particularly related to key characteristics.


This paper is the first of its kind to systemically search this literature and only include the most rigorously designed studies. It adds value to the developing field of AVTP by providing the scaffolding of the characteristics of families who have been impacted.



The views in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the agency.


Moulds, L.G. and Day, A. (2017), "Characteristics of adolescent violence towards parents – a Rapid Evidence Assessment", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 195-209.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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