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Adolescent‐to‐parent violence and abuse: Parents' management of tension and ambiguity—an interpretative phenomenological analysis

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Child & Family Social Work

Published online on


Adolescent violence and abuse towards parents is under researched, especially in the UK where reports of the phenomenon are increasing with little clear guidance as to how practitioners might respond. In this qualitative study, 6 parents were recruited through youth offending teams and were interviewed about their lived experiences of violence and/or abuse from their adolescent child. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, 3 superordinate themes emerged (a) the tensions and (b) the ambiguities produced by living with the violence and abuse and (c) the ways that parents manage the harms caused by these tensions and ambiguities. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed, including consideration of how practitioners might support parents who are living with adolescent‐to‐parent violence and abuse to establish healthy and sustainable coping strategies while repairing family relationships.