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SOC 5870 VIOLENCE IN THE FAMILY Dr. M. C. Sengstock A Brief Introduction To Research on Violence in the Family Web site:

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Presentation on theme: "SOC 5870 VIOLENCE IN THE FAMILY Dr. M. C. Sengstock A Brief Introduction To Research on Violence in the Family Web site:"— Presentation transcript:

1 SOC 5870 VIOLENCE IN THE FAMILY Dr. M. C. Sengstock A Brief Introduction To Research on Violence in the Family Web site: http://users.wowway.com/~marycay910

2 SOURCES OF DATA ON FAMILY VIOLENCE QUANTITATIVE: Official Records of Cases Reported – Police Reports – Mandatory Reporting Records Victimization Surveys QUALITATIVE: Small Studies of Victims Some Small Surveys

3 ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES OF EACH TYPE QUANTITATIVE – Provides Actual Data on the Number of Cases – Gives Estimate of the Size of the Problem – Often Hard to Tell Whether the Data Were Accurately Gathered – Often Very Expensive! QUALITATIVE – Provides Insight into the Reasons for the Behavior – Difficult to Generalize to Broader Population

4 EARLIEST STUDIES Began in the 1970s With Several Small, Qualitative Studies of Violent Families or of Victims – Kempe (a Physician) Studied Children Who Were Admitted to His Hospital or Clinic with Injuries Likely Involving Abuse – Problem: May Risk Making Generalizations on the Basis of Small, Biased Samples – EX: Kempe Assumed Only the Poor Were Abusive

5 SAMPLE STUDY: RICHARD GELLES THE VIOLENT HOME One of the Earliest Studies That Attempted Fairly Good Methodology Qualitative in Character Offers Good Background on the Patterns of Behavior the Violence Represents We Will Discuss in Detail

6 GELLES’ STUDY SAMPLE 80 Families from 2 Towns in New Hampshire – Manchester (Middle Class) – Portsmouth (Working Class) – Referrals: 20 by Police – 20 by Social Agencies – “Control” Families: Police & Agency Neighbors Attempt to Have Half Husbands, Half Wives Actual Sample: 66 Wives; 14 Husbands – Why? Consequences?

7 CRITIQUE OF GELLES’ SAMPLE BIASES: – Very Small Sample Size (80 Families) – “Purposively Selected” (i.e., to Make Sure He Found Some Violent Families – How “Representative” – & of What? ADVANTAGES: – Small Enough to Have In-Depth Interviews – Can Probe for Behavioral Patterns, Motivations

8 GELLES’ RESEARCH APPROACH Unstructured Interview : “Funnel Technique” – Broad, General Questions  Specific Ones – Why Use this Approach? Attempt to Hold “Joint” Interviews – Proved Dangerous! (Why?) Consequences for Study – Ability to “Probe” – Greater Understanding of Behavior, Motives

9 GELLES’ RESULTS Analyzed Amount of “Conjugal” (Marital) Violence Analyzed Types/Direction of Marital Violence Analyzed Amount of Parent-to-Child Violence Where & When Does Violence Occur? Search for “Meanings” of Violent Behavior: – What Were the Reasons Behind the Violent Acts? – Developed a “Typology of Violence”

10 SPOUSAL VIOLENCE BY SOURCE OF RESPONDENT … All tables have been simplified by deleting some categories. * “Seldom” = 2-5 times in marriage ** “Regular Low” = 2x/yr to every other month *** “Regular High” = once/month to daily What Did You Expect? Respondent Source None …Seldom*Regular Low**Regular High*** Agency Families40 %20 % 10 % Agency Neighbors65 %10 % 5 % Police Families15 %25 %20 %30 % Police Neighbors55 %20 %010 % N=8044 %19 %12 %14 %

11 MARITAL VIOLENCE: WHO IS VIOLENT & TO WHOM? TypeNoneSeldom*Regular Low** Regular High*** Husband to Wife 51 %11 % 14 % Wife to Husband 67 %14 % 5 % 6 %

12 HUSBANDS & WIVES: WHO DOES WHAT TO WHOM (Indicates Method “Ever Used”) (1 Wife used a knife; 1 Husband threatened wife with knife; 3 Husbands threatened with a gun) Violent ActHusband %Wife % Push, Shove181 Throw Object2211 Slap, Hit, Scratch, Grab3220 Punch, Kick259 Push Down40 Hit with Hard Object35 Choke90

13 PARENTAL VIOLENCE by SOURCE & % Note Different Code: ** “Seldom” = < 6/yr *** “Regular Low” = once/month to once/week **** “Regular High” = daily to several times/day Sample SourceNone …Seldom **Regular Low ***Regular High *** Agency Families5254525 Agency Neighbors558215 Police Families0354020 Police Neighbors574210 N = 784473213

14 WHICH PARENT IS MORE VIOLENT (%)? Note Code: ** “Seldom” = < 6/yr *** “Regular Low” = once/month to once/week **** “Regular High” = daily to several times/day ParentNoneSeldom**Regular Low***Regular High**** Father (N=78)35 235 Mother (N=78)6453214

15 METHODS OF VIOLENCE USED BY MOTHERS & FATHERS (%) … VIOLENT ACT FATHER MOTHER Spank on Bottom6092 Spank with Object1928 Slap on Body1321 Slap in Face514 Slam/Push into Wall03 Punch31 Hit with Hard Object11 Choke01

16 SPACIAL LOCATIONS OF VIOLENCE (%) PLACE% MENTIONING KITCHEN63 BEDROOM27 LIVING ROOM27 TV ROOM3 DINING ROOM3 HALL7 FRONT STEPS3 ALL OVER THE HOUSE 17 OUT OF HOUSE7 CAR7

17 WHEN DOES VIOLENCE OCCUR? % WITH MOST INCIDENTS Time of DayPercent 8 - 11 pm17 5 - 8 pm22 11:30 pm – 7 am19 Noon – 5 pm15 7 am – noon7 Anytime11

18 WHAT CAN WE CONCLUDE? Violence Is Hidden (Controls ~ Experimental) Both Husbands & Wives – Husbands More Severe Violence to Children MUCH Worse – Different Scale Each Offender Emphasizes Strengths – Husbands Beat, Choke; Wives Slap, Throw Things – Mothers Choke Kids Violence Occurs When Everyone Is Present – Kitchen – End of Day – Tired, Crabby!

19 GELLES’ TYPOLOGY OF VIOLENCE Developed from the Comments Provided by the Respondents Advantage of a “Qualitative Study” With a Small Sample Using Interviews & “Funnel Techniques” – As Opposed to Pre-Determined Questionnaires Because of Possibility of In-Depth & “Probing” Responses

20 8 CATEGORIES OF VIOLENCE 1. “NORMATIVE” (NORMAL) – OK – Acceptable – Everybody Does It – Have to Teach Kids Somehow 2. “SECONDARY VIOLENCE” – Unacceptable Child Abuse  Spouse Violence 3. “THREATS” to Do Violence 4. “VOLCANIC” – Eruption – “End of Rope” – Usually the Worst

21 8 CATEGORIES OF VIOLENCE (ctd) 5. “ALCOHOL-RELATED” – Nearly Always by Males – Cause or Effect? 6. “PROTECTIVE REACTION” VIOLENCE – Anticipate Partner’s Attack – Usually Females 7. “ONE-WAY” VIOLENCE – Some Partners Never Hit Back (Usually Women) 8. “SEX-RELATED” VIOLENCE – Accompanies/Retaliates for Cheating Accusations

22 GELLES’ OTHER TYPOLOGY 3 DIMENSIONS OF VIOLENT MOTIVATION – VICTIM-PRECIPITATED – OR NOT – LEGITIMATE – OR ILLEGITIMATE – INSTRUMENTAL – VS. EXPRESSIVE Who Decides If Violence Is Justified? … Acceptable? The Victim? The Offender? Other Family Members? Community Agents?

23 HYPOTHESIZED RELATIONS AMONG THE 3 DIMENSIONS LEGITIMATE ILLEGITIMATE VictPrecepNON-VPVictPrecepNON-VP INSTRUMENTALNnnN EXPRESSIVEN?nn?N VP   Legitimacy Probably Easier to Predict Role of Expressive   Instrumental Less Clear – Interesting Hypothesis

24 2 NATIONAL SURVEYS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE 19751985 SAMPLE3,300 Families Randomly Selected 6, 014 Families 4,032 Random 958 State Over-Sample 508 Black Over-Sample 516 Hispanic Over-Sample CRITERIAAge 18-65 Married or Co-Habiting With Child 3-17 Random Respondent Age 18+ Married or Co-Habiting Divorced/Separated Last 3 Years Single Parent w/ Child <18 Random Respondent RESPONSE RATE65%84%

25 NATIONAL SURVEYS METHOD: “CONFLICT TACTICS SCALE” Measure Pre-Defined Levels of Violence 1 – Once 2 – Twice 3 – 3-5 Times 4 – 6-10 times 5 – 11-20 Times 6 – >20 Times 0 – Never 15 Response Levels: a. Discussed calmly … c. Brought in someone … d. Insulted or Swore … k. Threw Something … m.Slapped … n. Kicked … p. Beat up … q. Choked … r. Threat knife, gun … s. Use weapon

26 NATIONAL SURVEY CRITIQUE ADVANTAGES: – Allows More Precise Statistical Analysis – MUCH More Representative of Population DISADANTAGES: – Little Opportunity to “Probe” Deeper Meanings – Cannot Study EXTREMELY Violent Families: Few Will Appear in a Random Population Sample – Often Leaves Unanswered Questions: What Are the “Really Violent” People Like? Abused Elders? – Single Parent Families (1975)

27 STRAUS, STEINMETZ, & GELLES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS More Statistically Valid Studies Larger, More Scientifically Random Sample Development & Use of Behavioral Indices for Violence Able to Make Generalizations to the Broader Population Worthy of a Thorough Analysis

28 National Family Violence Survey % of Violent Acts (Ever/Previous Yr) VIOLENT ACTPrevious YearEver Threw Sth At Spouse 6%16% Push, Grab, Shove13%23% Slap 7%18% Kick, Bit, Hit w/ Fist 5% 9% Hit or Tried to Hit w/ Obj 5%10% Beat Up1.5% 6% Threat – Knife/Gun0.5% 4% Used – Knife/Gun0.3% 4% Q: Why Are the Rates Lower Than in Gelles’ Study?

29 Which Spouse Does What? Violent ActHusbandWife Threw Something2.5% 5% Push, Grab, Shove11%8.5% Slap 5%4.7% Kick, Bite, Push2.3% 4% Hit/Tried to Hit w/ Obj2.3% 3% Beat Up 1%0.5% Threat w/ Knife/Gun0.3%0.5% Used Knife/Gun0.2%0.1% Husbands Slightly More Violent Than Wives. Each Maximizes Individual Strengths. All Are Estimates Because Numbers Are So Small.

30 What Do Couples Fight About Most? Open-Ended Question 5 Issues They Categorized (Alphabetically): Children Housekeeping Money Sex Social Issues * * Not Clearly Defined – Presume Issues Like Contacts with Relatives, Friends)

31 What Do Couples Fight About Most? TopicPercent Housekeeping33% Sex29% Social Issues27% Money26% Children20%

32 How Acceptable Is It? % Rating “Slapping Each Other” as “Somewhat Necessary, Good, Normal” RatingHusbandWives Necessary 8.5% 4.3% Good16.0% 9.0% Normal28.0%23.0%

33 Rate of Violence Against Children (Age 3-17) Violent ActEver Used1975Mean Freq (1975) Slap, Spank71%57%9.6 Push, Shove46%41%6.6 Hit w/ Object20%13%8.6 Throw Object 9% 5%4.5 Kick, Bite, Punch 8% 3%8.9 Beat Up (>1 Blow) 4% 1%5.9 Threat Knife/Gun 3%0.1%1 Use Knife/Gun 3%0.1%1 All Types Combined73%63% – These Kids Are Target of A LOT of Violence! More Than Their Parents!

34 Violence to Siblings % Violent to a Sibling in Past Year Violent ActPercent Push, Shove74% Slap48% Threw Objects43% Kick, Bit, Punch42% Hit w/ Object40% Beat Up16% Threaten w/ Knife/Gun0.8% Use Knife/Gun0.3% All Types Combined82% Question: Who Is the Most Violent In the Family? Why Do You Think This Is?

35 Sibling Abuse By Mix of Children Age of Children Mix of ChildrenPercent 3-4 YrsBoys Only90% Both Sexes70% Girls Only87% 5-9 Yrs.Boys Only80% Both Sexes64% Girls Only58% 10-14 Yrs.Boys Only60% Both Sexes50% Girls Only25% 15-17 Yrs.Boys Only58% Both Sexes33% Girls Only22% What Is Happening? Who Is Violent – Boys or Girls? At What Ages? Why Do You Think This is Occurring?

36 Abusive* Family Violence in 1975 Some Interesting Findings NOTE: ALL Differences Are Small Midwest Appears More Violent; South Least Urban More Violent; Suburbs Less Wife Abuse Rural & Urban = in Wife & Sibling Abuse “Other” Race – Highest Sibling Violence Spouse Abuse – Higher for Blacks * Abusive= Extreme: Kick, Bite, Punch, Hit w/ Obj, Threat/Use of Knife/Gun Excludes Push, Grab, Spank, Slap, Throw Something All Differences Small

37 Changes Marital Violence 1975–1985 (Rates per 1000 Couples) (Straus & Gelles, 1990) 19751985Significa nce (t) H  W Overall1211110.91 H  W Severe 38 301.60 W  H Overall1161210.57 W  H Severe 46 440.35 Couple All1601580.20 Couple Severe 61 380.46 1975 N=2,143 1985 N=3,520 * Indicates Level of Statistical Significance

38 Abusive* Family Violence in 1975 Some Interesting Findings (ctd) No Religion – More Spouse Abuse – No Effect on Child Abuse Minority Religion – More Violence (Why?) Jewish Women Abuse Husbands More Mixed Marriages More Violent Young Couples More Violent – Stress of Early Marriage? Or Violent Couples End? * Abusive= Extreme: Kick, Bite, Punch, Hit w/ Obj, Threat/Use of Knife/Gun Excludes Push, Grab, Spank, Slap, Throw Something All Differences Small.

39 Abusive* Family Violence in 1975 Some Interesting Findings (ctd) Mid-Level Education (H.S.) Most Violent College & Grad School Least Violent (Why?) Violence in Lower Income > Higher Income – Especially Spouse Abuse (Why?) Occupations: Blue Collar Highest Violence Un/Underemployed Males – More Violence: – Wife, Husband, Sibling, Child -- & Most Severe * Abusive= Extreme: Kick, Bite, Punch, Hit w/ Obj, Threat/Use of Knife/Gun Excludes Push, Grab, Spank, Slap, Throw Something All Differences Small.

40 Changes Marital Violence 1975–1985 (Comparing Specific Acts) (Rate per 1000 Couples; Straus & Gelles, 1990) HWHWHWHWWHWHWHWH 1975198519751985 Threw Obj 28 5243 Push, Grab, Shove107938389 Slap 5129**4641 Kick, Bite, Hit w Fist 2415*3124 Hit/Tried w Obj 221730 Beat Up 11 8 6 4 Threat Knife, Gun 4 4 6 6 Use Knife Gun 3 2 2 2 1975 N=2,143 1985 N=3,520 * Indicates Level of Statistical Significance

41 Changes Parent-Child Violence1975–1985 ( Rates per 1000 Children 3-17) (Straus & Gelles, 1990) 19751985ChangeSignificance (t) Threw Obj 53 27Decr 1/23.41*** Kick, Bit. Hit/Fist 32 13Decr >1/23.17** Hit W/ Obj134 97Decr c 1/32.91** Overall630620No Chg0.52 Severe140107Decr c 1/32.50** Very Severe 36 19Decr 1/24.25*** * Indicates Level of Statistical Significance

42 Annual Incidence & Estimated Rates (Based on 1985 Survey) Husband – Wife Violence VIOLENCE LEVELRate Per 1,000 SubjectsRate Per Population ANY – COUPLE1618,700,000 SEVERE – COUPLE 633,400,000 ANY VIOLENCE – H  W1166,250.000 SEVERE – H  W 341,800,000 ANY – W  H1246,800,000 SEVERE – W  H 482,600,000

43 Annual Incidence & Estimated Rates (Based on 1985 Survey) Parent Violence (Child 0-17) VIOLENCE LEVELRate Per 1,000 SubjectsRate Per Population ANYVirtually 100% SEVERE1106,900,000 VERY SEVERE231,500,000

44 Annual Incidence & Estimated Rates (Based on 1985 Survey) Parent Violence (Child 15-17) VIOLENCE LEVELRate Per 1,000 SubjectsRate Per Population ANY 3403,800,000 SEVERE 70 800,000 VERY SEVERE 21 235,000

45 Annual Incidence & Estimated Rates (Based on 1975 Survey) Violence By Children (Child 3-17) VIOLENCE LEVELRate Per 1,000 SubjectsRate Per Population ANY AGAINST SIBLING 80050,400,000 SEVERE AGAINST SIBLING 53033,300,000 ANY AGAINST PARENT 180 9,700,000 SEVERE AGAINST PARENT 90 4,800,000

46 Annual Incidence & Estimated Rates (Based on 1975 Survey) Violence By Children (Child 15-17) VIOLENCE LEVELRate Per 1,000 SubjectsRate Per Population ANY AGAINST SIBLING 6407,200.000 SEVERE AGAINST SIBLING 3604,000,000 ANY AGAINST PARENT 1001,100,000 SEVERE AGAINST PARENT 35 400,000

47 Impact of Spousal Violence: Women vs. Men Days in Bed Due to Violence By Violence Level (Straus & Gelles, 1990) 12.5 15.3 23 7.7 12.9 14.5

48 Impact of Spousal Violence: Women vs. Men % Reporting High Psychosomatic Symptoms (Straus & Gelles, 1990) 26.8 33.2 43.9 15.9 22.4 25.9

49 Impact of Spousal Violence: Women vs. Men % Reporting High Level of Depression (Straus & Gelles, 1990) 20.9 33.4 58.3 13,7 29.5 29.8

50 Impact of Spousal Violence: Women vs. Men % Reporting High Level of Stress (Straus & Gelles, 1990) 25.5 38.2 61.1 15.2 30.5 33.9

51 Conclusions from Research on Family Violence A LOT of Violence in American Families Violence Against Children Particularly Severe Both Men & Women Are Violent in Families Men Do More Damage to Women Women Are More Likely to Abuse Children Family Violence: Accepted,Expected,Required Some Suggestion Situation Getting Better

52 Next Issue: More Recent Data & Using Data to Develop Policy Looking at Current Data on Family Violence Evaluating the Value of These Data Comparing These Data with the Surveys Data Use for Policy Determination How Can Family Violence Be Prevented?

53 CHILD ABUSE DATA – U.S. ADMIN. FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION: State Mandatory Reporting Agency Reports – Reports Come In To Agencies – Workers Investigate the Reports – Determine If Abuse Has Probably Occurred – State Indicates What Response Was Made – State Makes Annual Summary Report to Federal Government

54 Abuse Rate Per 1000 Children, 2001-2005 Study by Dept of Health & Human Services From Reports to Responsible State Agencies What Do the Data Tell Us? What’s Missing? Does It Tell Us How Much There Really Is? 42.3 12.512.1

55 CHILD ABUSE RATES FOR SELECTED STATES (2005) STATES WITH HIGH RATES (>20% Substan)STATES WITH LOW RATES (<6% Substan) NORTHEAST: MANE: NH, NJ, PA, CENTRAL: IACENT: KA SOUTH: FL, GA, WV, KY, DCSOUTH: VA WEST: --WEST: AZ, AD, WA Q: Why These Differences Between Nearby States? Why Is MA High & NH (Next Door) Low? Why Is IA High & KA (Next Door) Low? Why Are All the Western States Low? Are They Better Parents? Can We Conclude This From These Data? Other Explanations?

56 Child Abuse Data 1989-1992 Mich Dept Human Services YEARWAYNEOAKLANDMACOMBSTATEWIDE 1989-9032.9% (N=11,040)28.6% (N=4,135)28.8% (N=2,721)41.1% (N=50,997) 1990-9135.7% (N=10,362)26.2% (N=4,064)30.4% (N=2,522)32.5% (N=49,074) 1991-9231.1% (N=11,486)28.0% (N=4,491)28.6% (N=2,589)30.4% (N=50,124) 1992-9320.2% (N=13,796)18.4% (N=4,280)22.9% (N=2,559)21.5% (N=54,302) % Of Reported Cases Substantiated Q: What Do the Data Suggest? Did the Rate of Reports Go Up or Down? Did the Rate of Substantiations Go Up or Down? Can They Tell Us If There Is More/Less Abuse? Governor’s Office Said More People Were Aware & Reporting. Parents Were Better & State Was Handling Cases Better. True? What Other Reason(s) Might Be Given for the Data? [Hint: Blanchard (D, 1983-90)  Engler (R, 1991-2002)]

57 INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE FROM 2001 NATIONAL VICTIMIZATION SURVEY YEARINCIDENCERATE WOMEN19931,000,0009.8/1000 2001 588,4905.0/1000 MEN1993 162, 8701.6/1000 2001 103,2200.9/1000 OVERALL19935.8/1000 20013.0/1000

58 SPOUSE ABUSE DATA FROM 2001 NATIONAL VICTIMIZATION SURVEY Partner Violence By Gender GENDERNo Of Cases By Intimate Partners Percent Of All Cases By Intimate Partners Women Victims 558, 49020% Male Victims 103,220 3% Do You Have Any Hesitance About These Data? Any Reasons Why It Might Have Limitations?

59 FATAL INCIDENTS INVOLVING INTIMATE PARTNERS YEARGENDER OF VICTIMNO OF CASES 1976FEMALE1600 MALE1357 1993FEMALE1300 MALEUNAVAILABLE 2000FEMALE1247 MALE 440 Again, Any Questions About the Data? For EX?

60 WHY EMPHASIZE WIFE ABUSE MORE THAN HUSBAND ABUSE IF MEN ARE ABUSED MORE? (From Murray Straus, PhD) Men Have Higher Rates of Most Serious Types Husband Abuse of Wives Does More Damage Husbands Repeat Abuse More Than Wives Self-Defense Often a Factor for Wives Wife Abuse Often Occurs in Pregnancy Wives Have Greater Constraints to Stay Single Incident a Husband’s Control Method

61 HOW DO GELLES & STRAUS DEFEND THE NOTION THAT HITTING ONE’S WIFE IS A NORM? Most Men Contend They “Lost Control” BUT: They Do Not Lose Control Enough to Stab Her They Do Not Lose Control So Much That They Hit OUTSIDE the Home They Do Not Lose Control So Much That They Hit Someone Else (Like a Co-Worker, a Friend, or Their Boss)

62 POLICY IMPLICATIONS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE RESEARCH (Gelles & Straus’ Conclusions) Violence is a Very Serious Problem in American Families Steps Should be Taken to Stem the Tide More Attention Should Be Paid to Wife Abuse than Husband Abuse Child Abuse is PARTICULARLY SEVERE!


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