The function (i.e., the motivation) of child-to-parent violence (CPV) is an important consideration for intervention but under researched, primarily due to a lack of appropriate measurement tools. The current study aimed to develop and validate a caregiver-report measure of the function of CPV (the Child-to-Parent Violence Functions Scale [CPV-F]).
One-hundred-and-twenty-one caregivers (94% female) ranging from 27 to 68 years of age (M = 45.36, SD = 8.35) completed an online survey reporting on experiences of CPV from a young person, who were mostly male (63%) and aged between 5 and 24 years (M = 12.71, SD = 4.77).
The current study shows that the motivation for CPV varies across three related but distinct functions: Reactive (i.e., in response to perceived or actual threat, transgression, or intrusion), Affective (i.e., driven by internal frustration, fear, or emotional conflict), and Proactive (i.e., instrumental, callous, and planned). The CPV-F demonstrated predictive and concurrent validity, as well as adequate reliability across subscales.
Future research should consider the function of CPV, as it may impact the relevance of risk factors. Moving forward, the CPV-F could be used for comprehensive investigative profiling, with a focus on parent and dyadic factors, to resolve heterogeneity in the field. Such factors are crucial to intervention yet under explored. As a caregiver-report measure, the CPV-F is well-positioned to aid in these investigations.