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A New Trait-Based Model of Child-to-Parent Aggression

Kuay, Hue San; Tiffin, Paul A.; Boothroyd, Lynda G.; Towl, Graham J.; Centifanti, Luna C.M.

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Hue San Kuay

Paul A. Tiffin

Luna C.M. Centifanti


Incidents of child-to-parent aggression have been the most under-researched area of domestic violence. The risk factors for child-to-parent aggression are still unknown. This article reviews risk factors that might explain aggression among adolescents. First, an overview of aggression, with a primary focus on child-to-parent aggression is provided. A number of studies on young people’s aggression show callous-unemotional traits as a predictor of aggression toward peers. However, callous-unemotional traits have not been studied in research on parent-directed aggression, even though they have been shown to be related to social dominance and lack of care toward authority figures (of which parents have a key role during adolescence). Thus, a new “Trait-Based Model” is proposed to explain child-to-parent aggression. In the model, the perpetrators of child-to-parent aggression are divided into two types: “generalists”, who are high on callous-unemotional traits and are proposed to perpetrate aggression toward parents as well as toward others outside the family, and “specialists”, who are low on callous-unemotional traits and specifically perpetrate aggression toward parents but not in other contexts. This article argues for future research to investigate the role of personality traits typically predicting differing subtypes of aggression.


Kuay, H. S., Tiffin, P. A., Boothroyd, L. G., Towl, G. J., & Centifanti, L. C. (2017). A New Trait-Based Model of Child-to-Parent Aggression. Adolescent Research Review, 2(3), 199-211.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 26, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 13, 2017
Publication Date Jun 1, 2017
Deposit Date May 30, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2017
Journal Adolescent Research Review
Print ISSN 2363-8346
Electronic ISSN 2363-8354
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 199-211


Accepted Journal Article (408 Kb)

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© The Author(s) 2017.<br /> This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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