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Parent Abuse: A Review

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Abstract

A recent focus of research and clinical practice has been on the issue of abuse of parents by their children (parent abuse). This paper reviews the literature on this phenomenon. While parent abuse falls under the umbrella of family violence, it appears to be qualitatively different from other forms of intra-family abuse. Research has primarily focused on prevalence rates and the characteristics of perpetrators and victims. While various factors such as gender, age, emotional attachment to parents, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, family stress and parenting style and structure have been associated with parent abuse, findings are equivocal. Etiological models are general and untested, and treatment approaches lack empirical support. It is concluded that more rigorous and extensive research is required in order to provide a deeper understanding of this complex issue, and to inform treatment approaches.

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Correspondence to David Mellor.

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Kennair, N., Mellor, D. Parent Abuse: A Review. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 38, 203–219 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-007-0061-x

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