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.

*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.

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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