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Durham University

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Publication details

Kuay, H.S., Boothroyd, L.G., Towl, G.J., Tiffin, P.A. & Munoz, L.C. (2021). Callous-Unemotional Traits are Associated With Child-to-Parent Aggression. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Author(s) from Durham


This study examined the relations between callous-unemotional traits and
perpetration of aggression toward parents in two separate studies, while also considering motivation for aggression and parenting styles experienced among young people. Study 1 involved 60 parents of children aged between 11 and 17 years old. The online study found high callous-unemotional traits, as reported by parents, to be associated with aggression toward both parents. Both types of motivation (proactive
and reactive, as reported by parents) were associated with aggression toward
parents. Study 2 involved 42 youths from an alternative education sample (between
11 and 16 years old). Youths with higher self-reported callous-unemotional traits
reported more aggression toward both parents. Both studies, which had different reporters and different samples, showed youths with higher callous-unemotional traits were more aggressive toward their parents. In discussing the results, we note the importance of including callous-unemotional traits in future research on parentdirected aggression and in studies on domestic violence more broadly.