Co-occurrence of partner and parent aggression: Research and treatment implications

K. D. O'Leary, A. M S Slep, S. G. O'Leary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physical aggression toward a child and a partner within the same family occurs more frequently than once thought. In community samples, the co-occurrence rate appears to be 5% to 6%; in clinical samples, it may be more than 50%. The possibility of causal connections between and common predictors of the two problems is real. Despite data demonstrating a consistent relation between aggression toward a child and aggression toward a partner, research and clinical services are not well coordinated. We discuss ways research could benefit from greater awareness of co-occurring aggression, comment on issues related to assessing families for presence of co-occurring aggression or abuse, and describe approaches to intervention that take advantage of what we know about common correlates of parent and partner aggression. Finally, we acknowledge fledgling collaborative efforts by service agencies to keep both children and parents safe and offer suggestions for training clinicians to address co-occurring aggression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-648
Number of pages18
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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