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Matern Child Health J. 2008 Jul;12 Suppl 1:91-102. doi: 10.1007/s10995-008-0370-0. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Potentially violent disagreements and parenting stress among American Indian/Alaska Native families: analysis across seven states.

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South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 220 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 204, Columbia, SC 29210, USA.



We examined the prevalence and correlates of potentially violent disagreements among AI/AN families with children.


We conducted a cross-sectional examination of data from the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health, limited to seven states for which AI/AN race/ethnicity was available in public use files (Alaska, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota). Disagreements were classified based on how the family deals with conflict. If disagreements involved actual (hitting) or symbolic (throwing) violence, even rarely, the household was categorized as having "potentially violent disagreements," with heated argument and shouting being classified as "heated disagreement." Parenting stress and demographic characteristics were included as potential correlates.


Potentially violent disagreements were reported by 8.4% of AI/AN and 8.4% of white families. The odds for potentially violent disagreements were markedly higher among parents reporting high parenting stress, in both AI/AN (OR 7.20; CI 3.45-15.00) and white (3.59, CI 2.71-4.75) families. High parenting stress had similar effects on the odds for heated discussion. Having a child with special health care needs was associated with parenting stress.


Questions about disagreement style may be useful as potential screens for domestic violence.

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