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Parents and verbal aggression

A study of more than 900 parents suggests that a high percentage of Americans use yelling and threats with their children. A survey by sociologists at the University of New Hampshire asked parents whether they had engaged in yelling, swearing, or name-calling at their kids within the last year. The study found that:

*90 percent of parents admitted that they occasionally used some form of verbal aggression with children 2 and under.

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*98 percent have done so with children 5 and under.

*At least 90 percent have done so with children between ages 6 and 17.

The sociologists also polled parents about different types of verbal aggression:

*75 percent of parents reported screaming or yelling at their kids at some point.

*More than 50 percent said they have threatened their kids with spanking.

*Roughly 25 percent sometimes cursed at their children in the past year, and 17 percent admitted calling a child a derogatory name.

*Only 6 percent of all parents surveyed admitted threatening to kick a young child out of the house. But of parents with teenagers, 18 percent said they resorted to this tactic.

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According to the study, younger parents in lower socioeconomic brackets were more likely to practice these forms of psychological aggression.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society


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