Families are a safe haven or at least they should be. This should be a group of people who are closer than close and should rely on one another to get them through tough times. However, that picture perfect family doesn’t always happen. In fact, picture perfect families are none existent – even royalty is not perfect. No one is because everyone makes mistakes and everyone struggles from time to time and people do have conflicts.
However, studies have shown children that come from families with violence and domestic abuse is present end up being put in a higher risk factor when it comes to turning to alcohol or drugs in their futures. Some, mostly boy’s end up turning to violence themselves when they get into relationships because they are acting out what they have seen.
A lot of studies have shown that sibling conflict and abuse can be just as harmful and as deadly as witnessing a parent hitting the other parent. Family conflicts can in fact have a massive impact on increased violence and drug and alcohol especially in males.
‘There has been a growing problem with family violence and increased aggression and substance abuse.’
However, the impact of sibling aggression with bullying is not well known or thought about for many families or family institutions. Researchers are now looking into the fact that bullying in the family home has led to an increase of antisocial behavior in later life for the children who witness the violence.
Research has found that boys who witness violence or are targets of abuse and see family conflict, are more aggressive and can end up having problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Girls do also have higher risks of abusing alcohol in their later life however studies couldn’t conclusively say whether this was due to the violence in the home.
Dorothy Espelage believes bullying and fighting in boys and even girls can be the sign that the child is going to have problems. These problems could be with antisocial behaviors and that the children, especially the boys, can look to alcohol abuse as well as drug abuse in the child.
This is what researcher Espelage believes; however, many other studies have shown that family conflicts are going to cause boys to become aggressors themselves. In fact, in many cases, boys can avoid going down the wrong path and become good people without hitting alcohol or drugs or using them as a support tool.
There are still thousands of young boys each year that see and witness violence in the home from either a parent or a sibling. Some will turn to the likes of alcohol and drugs and even become violent themselves but not every boy will take this path. If they can get out of that type of situation, they don’t need to look at substances to help them. Though, many boys don’t get out of that environment until very late, in their late teens or twenties but do not become aggressors.
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