Aggressive and delinquent behaviors in preadolescents may be indicators of problems suffered at home from direct child abuse by one or both parents or indirect abuse, such as exposure to domestic violence. A total of 532 Italian preadolescents recruited in their schools took part in this study. They completed a self-report questionnaire measuring direct child abuse from mothers and fathers, exposure to mother-to-father and father-to-mother violence, and externalizing delinquent and aggressive behaviors. Results indicated high levels of delinquent and aggressive behavior, compared to normative data, as well as high levels of reported direct and indirect family abuse. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated an independent significant effect for gender, mother- to-father violence, and both paternal child abuse and maternal child abuse. Discussion includes the importance of addressing externalizing problems of adolescents as indicators of family-related abuse, which may require multiple interventions and coordination between different agencies that work with children.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|