Tag Archives: Dr Amanda Holt

Child to parent violence: Realities, Enigmas and Ambiguities

A number of new papers – academic and discussion – have been published recently, and I have gathered them all up here together for ease.

Kerry Clarke has published the findings from her doctoral studies in the journal Child and Adolescent Social Work. The paper is titled, Adolescent-to-parent violence and abuse: Parents’ management of tension and ambiguity – an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Kerry’s research examined the lived experience of APVA of 5 families (6 separate parents). It draws out three key themes: Tensions such as wanting to resist their child at the same time as wanting to avoid violence; Ambiguities around definitions, thresholds, and identity; and then Steps Taken to manage the harm. Parents described multiple and varied coping strategies, and Clarke et al suggest that more attention should be given to the expertise of the parents, and of intervening early before violence and abuse becomes extreme.

In February, I publicised a national survey that was being undertaken regarding the Reality of Restraint for adoptive parents. The survey was conducted by Lee Hollins, as part of a fact finding initiative launched by The Open Nest charity. The survey closed at the end of February and the findings have been written up as The Reality of Physical Restraint: An Online Survey for Adoptive Parents “A Cry for Help”.  The report analyses stages of a violent episode, and considers the difficulties in managing challenging behaviour, recognising that restraint is a sad reality. Parents who responded expressed frustration at the difficulty in accessing training in safely managing their child in the middle of a crisis. “The parent’s clear desire for the knowledge and skill in order to respond safely, lawfully and effectively underpinned everything”. Work examining this complex issue continues, with more in depth interviews aimed at gathering further critical insight.

Also from the Adoption camp is the final report from Dr Wendy Thorley and Al Coates, titled Child -Parent Violence (CPV): Grappling with an Enigma. This is the third paper generated from the exploratory exercise conducted in November 2016, surveying parents about their experience of child to parent violence and the help available. It interrogates current definitions of CPV; discusses in greater depths the experiences of families both in living with a violent child and in obtaining help; and also looks at the consequences – and costs – of not addressing this issue. Final recommendations are included:  

The following recommendations reflect those requested by participants within the exploratory exercise and highlight the need to address CPV in order to support not only the family members but the children and young people themselves. Overall the main recommendation from respondents is that they require non-judgemental support, being believed and listened to and respected as a parent who is seeking help not a parent who ‘can’t cope’ with ‘normative behaviour. They identify that other people’s perception of them as suitable parents or effective parents is the biggest barrier to gaining support in that professionals dismiss their concerns as ‘normative’ behaviour. Respondents continue and indicate open discussion may also help address the stigma associated with seeking support for CPV so that a true indicator of incidence may evolve to inform a range of suitable strategies and interventions these families benefit from.

Finally, Dr Amanda Holt has been continuing research into child and adolescent violence and abuse towards parents, and her most recent work, Exploring Fatal and Non-Fatal Violence Against Parents, Challenging the Orthodoxy of  Abused Adolescent Perpetrators, builds on the limited information available in this field.


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Leeds Practitioners’ Forum on Child-to-Parent Violence

I was very disappointed not to be able to attend the Practitioners’ Forum at Leeds University, but thrilled to present this review of the day from Dr Sam Lewis, which also gives links to all the presentations.

On 15th July a Practitioners’ Forum on Child-to-Parent Violence (CPV) was held in the School of Law at the University of Leeds. The event, which was organised by the University’s Centre for Criminal Justice Studies (CCJS), Leeds Youth Offending Services (YOS) and Wakefield Troubled Families Scheme, attracted over 100 delegates from different agencies and areas. Continue reading

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Research bits and bobs

A couple of useful links this week regarding research into parent abuse….

Dr Amanda Holt has set up a jiscmail distribution list for researchers and practitioners with an interest in adolescent to parent violence. It is designed to provide a forum for exchange of ideas, research, information and events about this issue, and is configured as a public list that anyone can subscribe to, with publically-available archives. For those interested in joining the list, the link is here.

Dr Remy Vink is involved in research into child to parent violence in the Netherlands, in a study commissioned by children’s charity, Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland. The work has looked at how often domestic violence agencies and the police are confronted with cases of domestic violence committed by young people (12 – 23 years of age), as well as the types of violence. The study will be completed with a fact sheet and recommendations. More information here. You can also follow Dr Vink on twitter.

Finally, I have set up a twitter list to make it easier to catch up with posts or tweets from those involved in the field. If you use twitter you can subscribe to the list by following this link. If you would like to be added to the list then just let me know!

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Dr. Amanda Holt’s forthcoming talk

A reminder about Dr. Amanda Holts seminar: “Youth-to-Parent Abuse: Current Understandings in Research, Policy and Practice“, on Wednesday 2nd May 2012. Please note that this event at the University of Surrey, UK, begins and ends 30 minutes earlier than was first posted – from 15.30 to 17.00.

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Parent abuse: a psychological perspective

To what extent is it important to frame the understanding of parent abuse within a particular discipline?

Currently within Britain, and indeed around the world, different models of support have grown up as practitioners have identified the problem within their own working practice. Arguably, parents don’t care what it’s called so long as it works. So child and adolescent mental health services, youth offending teams, family assessment and support arms of children’s services, education officers and domestic violence practitioners have all variously developed their own programmes of advice and support which centre on allowing parents to share experiences, build strength in alternative ways of interacting as a family and rebalancing the power relationships. Continue reading

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