Volume 6

Verbal Aggression within the Family: Adult Children’s Similarity to Parents’ Communication Traits

Melissa Peltak and Larissa Combe

The purpose of this study was to assess gender differences in childhood exposure to parental verbal aggression, and the likelihood of participating in similar behaviors as adults. The 41 men and 54 women participating in this study completed questionnaires assessing family conflict and aggression. Responses to scenarios depicting verbal aggression within private or public contexts were also assessed. As expected, the results showed that men were more accepting of the use of verbal aggression than women. Women perceived greater family cohesiveness than did men, which may be related to their less frequent use and acceptance of verbal aggression. The implications of verbal aggression within the family are discussed.

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