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ERIC Number: EJ926634
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Intrafamilial Conflict and Emotional Well-Being: A Population Based Study among Icelandic Adolescents
Gunnlaugsson, Geir; Kristjansson, Alfgeir Logi; Einarsdottir, Jonina; Sigfusdottir, Inga Dora
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v35 n5 p372-381 May 2011
Objectives: During intrafamilial conflicts children are often innocent bystanders, caught in the crossfire. In such situations, they are at increased risk to become directly involved in abusive verbal behavior of the perpetrator, and exposed to being shouted or yelled at, threatened, rejected and even physically abused. The present study has two main objectives: (1) ascertain a national base rate of intrafamilial conflicts and physical violence at home among Icelandic adolescents; and (2) to investigate the association of witnessing and/or having been a part of intrafamilial conflict or physical violence at home with variables that relate to mental health and well-being. Methods: The participants were 3,515 students, 14- and 15-year-old, in the national compulsory school system in Iceland. As a part of the 2003 ESPAD survey, each pupil was asked about experiences of severe verbal arguments and physical violence at home as well as their background, behaviors, and mental health assessed with the use of tested measurement scales such as the Symptom Distress Checklist 90 (SCL-90) and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Results: About 22% of the participants stated that they had witnessed a severe verbal argument between parents and 34% stated that they had been involved in a severe verbal argument with parents. This rate was slightly higher for girls compared to boys. All together 7% of adolescents had witnessed physical violence at home where an adult was involved and 6% of the participants stated that they had experiences of being involved in physical violence at home where an adult was involved. Witnessing or being involved in severe verbal arguments at home and/or witnessing or being involved in physical violence with an adult was significantly associated with greater levels of depression, anger, and anxiety, and negatively related with self-esteem (p less than 0.01). Conclusions: Many adolescents in Iceland witness severe parental verbal arguments or physical violence between adults in their homes and some are directly involved in such acts. It affects their long-term emotional and behavioral development and well-being. Practice implications: Preventive measures have to be implemented at an early age and should include, but not be limited to, information on disciplining and upbringing of children and the negative impact of intrafamilial conflicts on the long-term health of their children. Due attention should be given to the health and well-being of children where such violence is known to occur. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iceland
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale