Parents can impact their children's attitudes toward violence

November 14, 1999

Parents' attitude toward fighting has greater impact on their children's aggressive behaviors than any other family factor, a new survey of 8,865 Texas middle school students finds.

What parents tell their children about fighting tells a lot about the degree to which their children get involved in fighting, injury and carrying weapons, according to researchers from the University of Georgia and the University of Texas at Houston.

"Parents have the opportunity to give clear and explicit messages to their children that fighting is not acceptable and show them some alternatives to solve conflicts," said Pamela Orpinas, PhD, who directed the study. "Parents can play an important role in preventing violence among adolescents."

The survey showed that three other family factors and practices also are indicative of how likely it is that kids will be involved in fighting and aggressive behaviors: how well children and parents get along together, how well parents monitor the children's away-from-home activities, and whether the youngsters live with two parents or in some other living arrangement. The results appear in the December issue of Health Education and Behavior.

Aggressive behavior scores were calculated individually for each student on the basis of self-reports of the number of fights, injuries, and carrying of weapons they said they had engaged in before the survey was taken. Each score was compared with the student's self-reports on family factors -- their relationship with their parents, how parents monitored their behavior, and family living arrangements, as well as parents' feelings about fighting.

"Our results show that parents have important roles to play in the development of violence prevention programs for young people," said Orpinas. "School violence prevention programs should have a strong parental component to take advantage of the influence parents can exert."

The study was partially supported by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health Education & Behavior, a bimonthly peer-reviewed journal of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), publishes research on critical health issues for professionals in the implementation and administration of public health information programs. SOPHE is an international, non-profit professional organization that promotes the health of all people through education. For information about the journal, contact Elaine Auld at 202-408-9804.

Posted by the Center for the Advancement of Health For information about the Center, call Petrina Chong, 202-387-2829.

Center for Advancing Health

Related Behavior Articles from Brightsurf:

Variety in the migratory behavior of blackcaps
The birds have variable migration strategies.

Fishing for a theory of emergent behavior
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba quantified the collective action of small schools of fish using information theory.

How synaptic changes translate to behavior changes
Learning changes behavior by altering many connections between brain cells in a variety of ways all at the same time, according to a study of sea slugs recently published in JNeurosci.

I won't have what he's having: The brain and socially motivated behavior
Monkeys devalue rewards when they anticipate that another monkey will get them instead.

Unlocking animal behavior through motion
Using physics to study different types of animal motion, such as burrowing worms or flying flocks, can reveal how animals behave in different settings.

AI to help monitor behavior
Algorithms based on artificial intelligence do better at supporting educational and clinical decision-making, according to a new study.

Increasing opportunities for sustainable behavior
To mitigate climate change and safeguard ecosystems, we need to make drastic changes in our consumption and transport behaviors.

Predicting a protein's behavior from its appearance
Researchers at EPFL have developed a new way to predict a protein's interactions with other proteins and biomolecules, and its biochemical activity, merely by observing its surface.

Spirituality affects the behavior of mortgagers
According to Olga Miroshnichenko, a Sc.D in Economics, and a Professor at the Department of Economics and Finance, Tyumen State University, morals affect the thinking of mortgage payers and help them avoid past due payments.

Asking if behavior can be changed on climate crisis
One of the more complex problems facing social psychologists today is whether any intervention can move people to change their behavior about climate change and protecting the environment for the sake of future generations.

Read More: Behavior News and Behavior Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to