Problem teens bashing up parents

Sydney: Domestic violence has got a little bit nastier with a growing number of problem teens abusing and bashing up their parents, a study reveals.

Flinders University law lecturer Mary McKenna said her doctoral studies have found more young people taking their problems out on their parents.

"One of the other big problems we know is that parents are absolutely loath to report violence to police because they`re concerned it`s going to impact their child`s future," said McKenna.

"There is often a lot of guilt and shame around the issue, and parents don`t like to admit they`re having trouble at home so consequently it remains hidden," she said.

According to McKenna, 12 to 16-year-old boys were generally the main perpetrators of violence, usually toward their mothers, and the problem was just as common among two-parent, middle income households as it was in low socio-economic areas.

"Reasons for the abuse included a combination of drug and alcohol problems, mental health issues and an `inflated sense of entitlement`," she said, according to a university statement.

McKenna said the project comes as a direct result of a 2010 study, "Exposing the Dark Side of Parenting", for greater community awareness and support.

"In many cases, parents were saying that when they sought help, they didn`t get the support they needed," said McKenna, who also co-authored the report.


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