Family Factors Associated with Auto-aggressiveness in Adolescents in Croatia
The aim of this research is to look into the roles of families’ social situation and cohesion in adolescent auto-aggressiveness in Croatia. The research was conducted on a sample of Zagreb high school students which encompassed 701 pupils of both genders aged 14–19. The basic demographic data were obtained using the Structured Demographic and Family Data Questionnaire. Auto-aggressiveness was tested using a section of the Report on Youth Aged 11-18 and the Scale of Auto-destructiveness - SAD, whereas the family cohesion was tested with the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales FACES III. The obtained results show differences according to the gender: girls are more prone to auto-aggressiveness than boys (t=-3.385, df=565, p=0.001) and girls more often show symptoms of destructiveness (t=-3.809, df=637, p<0.001) and anxiety (t=-6.562, df=640, p<0.001), while boys show pronounced aggressiveness (t=2.655, df=653, p=0.008). Significant family factors associated with auto-aggressiveness are parents' marital status (χ²=18.039, df=4, p=0.001), their financial situation (F(2.548)=4.604, p=0.010), alcoholic father (χ²=9.270, df=2, p=0.010), mentally ill mother (t=5.264, df=541, p<0.001), as well as mentally ill father (t=4.744, df=529, p<0.001), and corporal punishment by mother (F(2.542)=8.132, p<0.001) or father (F(2.530)=5.341, p=0.005). Adolescents from split families show more auto-aggressiveness. Family cohesion appears to be considerably associated with auto-aggressiveness and the adolescents that see their families as less cohesive have more mental problems (χ²=29.98, df=2, p<0.001). There is a connection between auto-destructive behavior in adolescents and family factors. Knowledge of family's social situation and cohesion may help understand, prevent and treat auto-aggressiveness in adolescents.
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