The rates and correlates of the exposure of Palestinian adolescents to family violence: Toward an integrative-holistic approach

Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia*, Rula Abdo-Kaloti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objectives: First, to examine the rates of Palestinian adolescents' exposure to (i.e., witnessing and experiencing) different patterns of psychological aggression and physical violence in their families of origin; and second, to examine the correlation between this exposure and sociodemographic characteristics, parents' psychological adjustment problems, and family exposure to political stressors. Method: A cross-sectional survey was carried out among a sample of 1,185 Palestinian secondary school students. Results: The study reveals very alarming rates of witnessing interparental and parent-to-sibling aggression and violence, and high rates of experiencing aggression and violence by parents and siblings during childhood and adolescence. In addition, these rates were found to be intercorrelated, and correlated significantly with several sociodemographic characteristics such as parents' levels of education, place of residence, family size, religious affiliation, family income, and housing conditions, as well as with parents' psychological adjustment problems and with family exposure to political stressors. Conclusions: The results of the study reveal strong evidence that emphasizes the importance of studying violence in the family from an integrative, comprehensive, and ecological perspective that incorporates intrapersonal traits, family stress theory, family resources theory, social learning theory, and sociological and environmental factors, to explain the risk factors and predictors of violence in the family.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)781-806
Number of pages26
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was partially supported by a grant from Novah Mitchell Fund. This paper is based on a study jointly carried out by the two authors.


  • Ecological and integrative theory of family violence
  • Experiencing family violence
  • Exposure to family violence
  • Palestinian adolescents
  • Witnessing family violence


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