This study examined the psychological consequences of adolescents' exposure to psychological abuse and physical violence in the family. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to a sample of 1,185 Palestinian adolescents. Different forms of the Conflict Tactic Scales were used to measure adolescents' witnessing and experiencing different patterns of abuse and violence in their families. The Youth Self Report was used to measure several psychological states. The questionnaire also included items concerning the sociodemographic characteristics of the participants and their families, parents' psychological adjustment problems, and family exposure to political stressors. The results revealed that significant amounts of the variance in participants' withdrawal, somatization, anxiety and depression, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent behavior, and aggressive behavior could be attributed to their exposure to both abuse and violence in childhood as well as adolescence, over and above the variance in each of these psychological states attributable to sociodemographic characteristics, parents' psychological adjustment problems, and family exposure to political stressors. We discuss the limitations of the study and implications for future research.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This article is based on a study conducted jointly by the two authors, which was partially supported by a grant from the Novah Mitchell Fund. A portion of the project served as the basis for Rula Abdo-Kaloti’s MSW thesis.