Adolescent-to-parent violence and abuse (APVA)
: an investigation into prevalence, associations and predictors in a community sample

  • Elizabeth Jane McCloud

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Adolescent–to-Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA) is a form of family violence and abuse that has, in recent years, received increasing attention within academic literature. In England and Wales, APVA is beginning to have more of a presence in policing, youth justice and domestic violence and abuse policy. However, there remains a dearth of empirical quantitative research arising from the U.K about this topic. In response, this research aims to report the prevalence of APVA from a U.K cross-sectional community sample of 890 secondary school students (aged 11 to 18 years). Furthermore, adolescent characteristics and behaviours, familial characteristics, and school bullying experience are measured to ascertain whether these factors are associated with, and can predict, APVA.

APVA was found to be prevalent amongst 64.5% of the sample; psychological APVA was more prevalent than physical APVA (64.4% and 4.3% respectively). Significant associations and predictors of APVA have been identified and three statistically significant logistic regression models are presented that can predict the probability of psychological APVA, physical APVA, and severe APVA occurring.

This research contributes to the understanding of the experiences and characteristics of young people who exhibit APVA. The findings demonstrate that APVA is a complex phenomenon that is associated with and can be predicted by individual, family and school bullying characteristics. The results have implications for policy and practice, in particular that a holistic and whole-family approach should be taken to the assessment and subsequent planning of intervention for APVA and that APVA can be screened for in universal settings, such as schools. Therefore, awareness raising and prevention strategies could be incorporated into existing policy and practice frameworks. It is proposed that these findings are best interpreted and understood by ecological theories which can provide a useful framework with which to develop future research.
Date of AwardSept 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorCarol Hayden (Supervisor), Andie Shawyer (Supervisor) & Richard Kapend (Supervisor)

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