Poverty, Stress, and Violent Disagreements in the Home Among Rural Families


This study used information from a large, nationally representative telephone survey of households with children, carried out by the National Center for Health Statistics, to explore the prevalence of violent disagreements in the home. "Violent" disagreements are those that involve hitting or throwing, as opposed to heated argument or calm discussion. Poverty and parenting stress also were examined as they are hypothesized to be associated with violent disagreement. Findings from the study showed that rural children, all things held equal, were less likely than urban children to live in households where disagreements are expressed violently. Similarly, rural children were less likely to live in households with high parenting stress or low reported neighborhood trust. Nonetheless, rural practitioners must still be sensitive to the possibility of exposure to violence. Key factors associated with parenting stress, and thus with violent disagreements, are more prevalent in rural areas. Poverty and low-income were more common among rural than urban children, and affected well over half of rural minority children, in particular.

Rural and Minority Health Research Center
Charity Moore, Janice Probst, Mark Tompkins, Steven Cuffe, Amy Martin