Evidencing Predictors of Adolescent to Parent Violence Re-Offending Through Linkage of Police and Health Records

Published date01 July 2022
Date01 July 2022
AuthorMarie Hutchinson,Allison Peck,Steve Provost
Subject MatterArticles
Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice
2022, Vol. 20(3) 206230
© The Author(s) 2022
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/15412040221093009
Evidencing Predictors
of Adolescent to Parent
Violence Re-Offending Through
Linkage of Police and Health
Allison Peck
*, Marie Hutchinson
, and Steve Provost
Current knowledge about the characteristics of adolescents involved in recidivist adolescent to
parent violence offending remains limited. This study employed more than 50,000 linked ad-
ministrative police (from birth) and health (from age f‌ive) data events to examine predictors of
adolescent to parent violence recidivism in a geographically-distinct case series of 775 Australian
adolescents. The predictive association between adverse childhood experiences, health and police
involvement related characteristics and frequency of recidivism was found to vary by sex and level
of exposure to parental intimate partner violence. Events occurring before an adolescentsf‌irst
offence, including sustained exposure to adverse childhood events and IPV exposure combined
with sexual offence victimization, amplif‌ied the frequency of re-offending. Developmental life-
course trajectories involving family violence verbal arguments, and other antisocial behaviors in
mid to late adolescence, had a stronger predictive association with the frequency of re-offending.
These results highlighted several key intervention points with adolescents and families acro ss the
life course.
family violence, adolescent to parent violence, juvenile recidivism, regression analysis
There is a global consensus that family violence, def‌ined as violence between family members and
within kinship ties, is a leading social, political, economic, and public health problem (AIHW,
2020). Violence or abusive behavior from an adolescent (aged 1118 years) toward a parent or
other unpaid caregiver is a specif‌ic form of family violence, referred to herein as adolescent to
Faculty of Health, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Corresponding Author:
Allison Peck, Faculty of Health, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450, Australia.
Email: a.kingston.10@student.scu.edu.au
parent violence. Adolescent to parent violence is def‌ined as a pattern of behavior intended to
threaten, exert power or control, or cause damage and harm to a parent (Campbell et al., 2020;
Cottrell & Monk, 2016;Holt & Retford, 2013). These acts can include physical violence, property
damage, verbal abuse, coercive and controlling behaviors, and f‌inancial abuse (Campbell et al.,
2020;Calvete et al., 2015;Fitz-Gibbon et al., 2018). Adolescent to parent violence is not un-
common and is thought to be underreported. Available data on prevalence rates range from 5 to
20% for physical violence (Crime Statistics Agency, 2019;Freeman, 2018;Moulds, Day, et al.,
2019;Simmons et al., 2018), with rates of psychological violence reported to be much higher (33
93%; Simmons et al., 2018). This violence can have long term effects on the physical and
emotional well-being of those involved and have a devastating impact on a parent-child
Prevalence and Patterns of Adolescent to Parent Recidivism
Despite evidence of strong links between childhood maltreatment and both adolescent to parent
violence and juvenile offender recidivism (Barra et al., 2018), few studies have examined ad-
olescent to parent violence recidivism. In Australia, Freemans (2018) examination of the of-
fending records of adolescents (boys: n= 688; girls n= 367) proceeded against by the police for a
family violence related assault in 2014 found that 23% (n= 243) re-offended with another family
violence assault offence within 12 months of the reference offence. Supporting these f‌indings, a
recent study of 4000 adolescents (aged 1218 years) reported to police for their involvement in a
domestic and/or family violence incident found approximately one in four adolescents wer e
involved in a repeat offence within 6 months (Boxall & Morgan, 2020). The proportion of
adolescents involved in recidivist offending was slightly higher for adolescents reported for a
family violence offence (28%, n= 904) compared to an offence against a partner (domesti c
violence offence; 26%, n= 193). Spanish studies directly examining adolescent to parent family
violence report recidivism rates around 35% (Cuervo et al., 2017;Maroto & Cort´
es, 2018).
However, caution has been advised when comparing cross country rates of juvenile recidivism due
to legislative differences relating to the age of criminal responsibility (Fazel & Wolf, 2015).
Studies of re-offending patterns amongst adult recidivist domestic and family violence of-
fenders have linked the timing between offences to the frequency (Boxall & Morgan, 2020;
Barnham et al., 2017;Morgan et al., 2018) and severity of re-offending (Kerr et al., 2017). For
adolescents, Freeman (2018) found that almost half re-offended with another family violence
offence within 90 days of the reference offence. Boxall and Morgan (2020) found that the risk of
repeat violence for adolescents involved in family violence offences was highest between 19 and
31 days after the reference offence. Adolescents who re-offended in this period were at greater risk
of a third offence than those recording a longer time period between repeat offences. This f‌inding
is consistent with prior studies examining the short-term re-offending patterns of adult domestic
and family violence offenders (Morgan et al., 2018;Richards et al., 2014;Stansf‌ield & Williams,
2014). These f‌indings highlight the importance of early identif‌ication of at-risk repeat offenders
and victims to prevent both short-term and longer-term repeat domestic and family violence
(Boxall & Morgan, 2020).
Evidencing Risk Factors for Adolescent to Parent Violence Recidivism
Despite a substantial body of research examining risk factors and predictors of re-offending
amongst adult domestic and family violence offenders (e.g. Coghlan & Millsteed, 2017;Dowling
& Morgan, 2019;Millsteed & Coghlan, 2016), few studies have examined risk factors associated
with adolescent to parent violence recidivism. Studies comparing repeat and one-time offending
Peck et al. 207

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