Family conflict by Age |

Family conflict by Age

According to the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence , your family conflict can affect each age group in the following ways:


  • Basic need for attachment is disrupted
  • Routines around feeding/sleeping are disturbed
  • Injuries while “caught in the crossfire”
  • Irritability or inconsolable crying
  • Frequent illness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Diarrhea
  • Developmental delays
  • Lack of responsiveness


  • Somatic or psychosomatic complaints
  • Regression
  • Irritability
  • Fearful of being alone
  • Extreme separation anxiety
  • Developmental delays
  • Sympathetic toward mother

Elementary Age

  • Vacillate between being eager to please and being hostile
  • Verbal about home life
  • Developmental delays
  • Externalized behavior problems
  • Inadequate social skill development
  • Gender role modeling creates conflict/confusion


  • Behavior problems become more serious
  • Increased internalized behavior difficulties: depression, isolation, withdrawal
  • Emotional difficulties: shame, fear, confusion, rage
  • Poor social skills
  • Developmental delays
  • Protection of mother, sees her as “weak”
  • Guarded/secretive about family


  • Internalized and externalized behavior problems can become extreme and dangerous: drug/alcohol, truancy, gangs, sexual acting out, pregnancy, runaway, suicidal.
  • Dating relationships may reflect violence learned or witnessed in the home.

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