careNew US research has linked behaviourally challenged teenagers to verbally and physically aggressive parents.

The study, by Bowling Green and Rutgers Universities, assessed 239 adolescents aged between 11 and 18, who had been referred to a mental health centre for behavioural problems.

More than half – 51% – experienced severe physical and/or high verbal aggression from one or both parents.

More behavioural issues were identified when the mother was extremely physically abusive, but in the absence of this, verbal aggression had no significant link.

However, this had the opposite effect regarding fathers – there was a pattern between male verbal abuse and behavioural problems, above and beyond the influence of severe physical aggression.

Researchers hope that the results of this study will result in clinic-referred teenagers and their parents being routinely assessed about their experience of both verbal and physical aggression.

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