Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Declan Coogan
Journal Of The Family Therapy Association Of Ireland
Marking the Boundaries – When Troublesome becomes Abusive and Children Cross a Line in Family Violence
Optional Fields
child to parent violence, parent abuse, non violent resistance programme, definitions of family violence, clinical practice
Practice experience and conversations with other psychotherapists, social workers and psychologists suggest that the aggressive behaviour of children and adolescents towards their parents are becoming an increasing concern in direct work with families. It seems that although the initial referral for assessment and intervention may be related to concerns about pre- or adolescent ADHD, depression or out of control behaviours, more parents are beginning to talk about their experiences of being the target of their child’s physical and emotional aggression in their homes. In this article I would like to broaden our understandings of family violence to take into account the use of violence by children and adolescents against their parents. I would also like to explore difficulties in definition, making distinctions between abusive behaviour and what could be termed as “normal” conflict between parents and their children during adolescence. Social and cultural factors contributing to the lack of attention to child-to-parent violence (as distinct from elder abuse where adult children are violent towards their parents) will be explored. It will be suggested that conventional social and cultural assumptions in relation to children, power and violence within families lead to challenges in practice in the detection and development of effective responses to child-to-parent violence.  I will also indicate the potential that may lie within established domestic violence practice for responding to the needs of families where children under the age of 18 assault their parents.
Feedback Journal (FTAI)
Feedback - Summer 2012
Grant Details
No grant applicable
Publication Themes