Previous research suggests that certain types of self-appraisals may predispose individuals to be more or less tolerant of relationship violence. The current study investigates two such appraisals, selfesteem and self-attributions, as correlates of women’s responses to hypothetical episodes of relationship violence by their dating partners. Undergraduate women involved in dating relationships (N = 145) reported global selfesteem, attributions for hypothetical partner aggression, and probable responses to the aggression. Results showed that selfesteem and self-attributions emerged as correlates of intentions to forgive violence, whereas only self-attributions emerged as a correlate of intentions to dissolve the relationship. The association between self-attributions and intentions to exit a violent relationship was fully mediated by intentions to forgive the partner. Because self-appraisals may inform prevention programs for women who may experience relationship violence, clinical implications are discussed.
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- Go to article: Average Cost per Person Victimized by an Intimate Partner of the Opposite Gender: A Comparison of Men and Women
Average Cost per Person Victimized by an Intimate Partner of the Opposite Gender: A Comparison of Men and Women
Differences in prevalence, injury, and utilization of services between female and male victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) have been noted. However, there are no studies indicating approximate costs of men’s IPV victimization. This study explored gender differences in service utilization for physical IPV injuries and average cost per person victimized by an intimate partner of the opposite gender. Significantly more women than men reported physical IPV victimization and related injuries. A greater proportion of women than men reported seeking mental health services and reported more visits on average in response to physical IPV victimization. Women were more likely than men to report using emergency department, inpatient hospital, and physician services, and were more likely than men to take time off from work and from childcare or household duties because of their injuries. The total average per person cost for women experiencing at least one physical IPV victimization was more than twice the average per person cost for men.
This study examined the role of perceived control and coping in mediating the relationship between violent and nonviolent negative relationship events and women’s experience of distress. Results based on the responses of 48 victims of dating relationship violence and 74 nonvictims indicated that perceived control was negatively related to distress for victims but not nonvictims. While both victims and nonvictims engaged in both problem- and emotion-focused coping, and different patterns of coping emerged for the two groups, appraisals of control were not related to choice of coping strategies for violent or nonviolent negative relationship events. Psychological distress was not significantly predicted by coping strategies or the interaction of control and coping for either type of event or for either group. These results suggest that control appraisals may be particularly important in reducing distress for victims. However, appraisals of perceived control may place them at increased risk for abuse in the long run, as victims are unlikely to be able to control the violence as it escalates in both severity and frequency over time.
Previous research has shown parental warmth to have mixed effects on individuals in violent families. While positively associated with psychological health in some victims, parental warmth has also been positively associated with measures of psychological distress in other victims. The current study examined two models (the “buffering” and “inconsistency” theories) to clarify the effects of parental warmth. The current study also sought to clarify the role of parental warmth within the context of exposure to different types of family violence (i.e., witnessing versus victimization). Results differed depending on the type of violence exposure. Both mother and father warmth were negatively associated with secure attachment and self-esteem in combined victims and witnesses of violence, whereas, mother warmth was positively associated with self-esteem in witnesses of violence. Father warmth did not significantly impact either outcome for witnesses. Parental warmth did not influence either outcome for those who had only experienced victimization.
- Go to article: Childhood Victimization and Subsequent Adult Revictimization Assessed in a Nationally Representative Sample of Women and Men
Childhood Victimization and Subsequent Adult Revictimization Assessed in a Nationally Representative Sample of Women and Men
The purpose of this study was to identify whether experiences of childhood physical and/or sexual victimization would increase women’s and men’s risk for victimization in adulthood by different perpetrators (any perpetrator regardless of the relationship to the victim; intimate partner perpetrator; non-intimate perpetrator) using a nationally representative sample. Results of hierarchical logistic regression analyses indicated that childhood victimization increased the risk for adulthood victimization by any perpetrator for men and women, and by an intimate partner for women but not men. Female and male victims of physical and/or sexual child abuse are at higher risk for adult victimization by non-intimate perpetrators. These results suggest the appropriateness of interventions among adults or young adults who have been victims of child abuse, to prevent any future victimization in adulthood. To guide the development of such prevention programs, research is needed to identify factors that affect the probability of adulthood victimization among child abuse victims.
- Go to article: Psychological Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Battered Women: Examining the Roles of Shame and Guilt
Psychological Abuse and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Battered Women: Examining the Roles of Shame and Guilt
Psychological abuse among battered women has been relatively understudied. However, battered women’s reports in the existing qualitative and quantitative research suggest that the effects of psychological abuse can be even more damaging than the effects of physical abuse. The current study attempted to clarify the relationship between psychological abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within a sample of battered women by statistically controlling for the effects of physical abuse. This study also explored the affective experiences of shame and guilt as important variables in the development of PTSD in battered women. This investigation replicated previous work suggesting that battered women are very much at risk for a diagnosis of PTSD and suggests that clinicians and researchers may need to focus on psychological abuse as a predictor of PTSD symptomatology. The current findings encourage attention to shame reactions in battered women and suggest new directions in the study of PTSD for other traumatized populations.
- Go to article: Psychological Abuse: Implications for Adjustment and Commitment to Leave Violent Partners
The contribution of psychological abuse, beyond that of physical abuse, to battered women’s psychological adjustment and their intentions to terminate their abusive relationships was examined. Sixty-eight battered women residing in shelters for battered women provided information on their: (1) physical and psychological abuse; (2) psychological symptomatology; (3) strategies for coping with and perceptions of control over partner violence; and (4) intentions to return to their abusive partners. Multiple regression analyses indicated that frequency and severity of physical abuse was not a significant predictor of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology nor of women’s intentions to terminate their abusive relationships. However, psychological abuse was a significant predictor of both PTSD symptomatology and intentions to permanently leave abusive partners even after controlling for the effects of physical abuse. PTSD symptomatology moderated the relationship between psychological abuse and intentions to terminate the abusive relationships: resolve to leave the abusive partner as a function of level of psychological abuse was significant only among women characterized by low levels of PTSD symptomatology. Greater use of emotion-focused coping strategies, absolutely and relative to problem-focused coping, had direct effects on PTSD symptomatology. However, neither coping nor perceptions of control moderated the effects of psychological abuse on psychological adjustment. The results of the investigation suggested that psychological abuse and ensuing PTSD symptomatology are important variables to assess among physically battered women.
- Go to article: Telephone Survey Respondents’ Reactions to Questions Regarding Interpersonal Violence
Concerns have been raised regarding the appropriateness of asking about violence victimization in telephone interviews and whether asking such questions increases respondents’ distress or risk for harm. However, no large-scale studies have evaluated the impact of asking such questions during a telephone interview. This study explored respondents’ reactions to questions regarding violence in two large recently completed telephone surveys. After respondents were asked about violence, they were asked if they thought surveys should ask such questions and whether they felt upset or afraid because of the questions. In both surveys, the majority of respondents (regardless of their victimization history) were willing to answer questions about violence and were not upset or afraid because of the questions. More than 92% of respondents thought such questions should be asked. These results challenge commonly held beliefs and assumptions and provide some assurance to those concerned with the ethical collection of data on violent victimization.
- Go to article: Gender Symmetry in Dating Intimate Partner Violence: Does Similar Behavior Imply Similar Constructs?
Gender Symmetry in Dating Intimate Partner Violence: Does Similar Behavior Imply Similar Constructs?
The present study examined the extent to which there is gender symmetry in the topography and experience of dating intimate partner violence (IPV). Self-report data were collected from 450 undergraduate men and women at a large Southeastern university. Perpetration and victimization rates were examined, as were context, function, and experience of fear. Results support the view that dating IPV is generally symmetrical at a topographical level, although significantly more women than men reported perpetration of severe physical assault. However, gender asymmetries were found in the context, function, and experience of fear. These findings suggest that gender-sensitive approaches are crucial to the understanding of dating IPV.
- Go to article: Excuses, Excuses: Accounting for the Effects of Partner Violence on Marital Satisfaction and Stability
Excuses, Excuses: Accounting for the Effects of Partner Violence on Marital Satisfaction and Stability
For both theoretical and practical reasons, it is important to understand processes that lead to marital dissatisfaction and dissolution among women who are targets of relationship violence. Because attributional tendencies may often forecast marital behavior and because alcohol use is often seen as providing an excuse for deviant behavior, we examine two potential moderators of the associations between husband violence and wife marital outcomes: wife attributional style and husband problem drinking tendencies. A community sample of married couples (N = 66) completed a comprehensive battery of marital assessments. Results suggested that responsibility attributions moderated the association between husband violence and wives’ marital dissatisfaction but exerted a direct effect on wives’ disposition toward divorce. Husband problem drinking moderated the impact of husband violence only on wives’ disposition toward divorce. As would be expected from an “excuse” model of the associations between violence and marital outcomes, violence had less of an impact on marital satisfaction and divorce ideation when wives attributed responsibility for negative spouse behavior as external to their husbands and when husbands were problem drinkers, respectively.