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Parents' pro-fighting attitude can rub off

July 3, 2012 at 9:12 PM

DALLAS, July 3 (UPI) -- Parents who fight at home -- and demonstrate pro-fighting attitudes among family members -- may pass the habit onto their children, a U.S. researcher says.

Study leader Rashmi Shetgiri and colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas held 12 focus groups of middle- and high-school students.

The researchers found pro-fighting attitudes among family members can be a risk factor for a child's behavior.

"It's important for parents to be aware of their own attitudes about fighting, and of how they interact with their children and with others in their lives," Shetgiri said in a statement. "It's important for parents to be aware of their own attitudes about fighting, and of how they interact with their children and with others in their lives."

As a result, a child might fight to defend himself, but being involved in fighting as a teenager could increase the risk of violence and criminal behavior as an adult.

The findings were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Boston.

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