Type of Document Dissertation Author Staik, Athena Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-12122003-220029 Title The Relationship between Violence Experienced and Witnessed in Adolescence and Violence in Current Couple Relations: A Gender Perspective Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Family and Child Sciences, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Charles R. Figley Committee Chair Christine A. Readdick Committee Member Joyce L. Carbonell Committee Member Nicholas Mazza Committee Member Keywords
- corporal punishment
- couple violence
- family violence
Date of Defense 2003-10-28 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe relationship between violence in family of origin and violence in current couple relations was investigated in an effort to simultaneously examine the effect of experiencing parent-to-child violence and witnessing interparental violence in adolescence on current enacted and experienced violence between partners. Hypotheses were tested on a nationally representative data set (1985 National Family Violence Survey), using a sample of 4,910 married participants. This study used gender-specific social learning and postmodernist perspectives within an overall feminist framework in examining the impact of experiences of violence in adolescence on couple relationships.
In understanding violence, feminist theory was utilized to focus on the purpose violence serves, as a tool granted social legitimacy in the maintenance of status quo hierarchical rankings of superiors versus inferiors. A historical and cultural understanding of the evolution of gender was also utilized, and regarded as essential in holistically organizing present day experiences of family violence.
The findings were significant across groups in the hypothesized order. The lowest level of violence in current intimate relations occurred for partners reporting no violence in adolescence in family of origin, while those who experienced parent-to-child violence or witnessed interparental violence in adolescence were more likely to report current partner violence. The highest levels of enacted and experienced violence in current couple relations occurred for married partners reporting both forms of violence in family of origin. The relationships between current physical and current verbal violence were the most dramatic in the study. The risk for enacted violence in current relations was overall higher than the risk for experienced violence for men, while for women the risk was higher for experienced violence.
The discussion of results expound upon the assumptions of this study, arguing that spanking of children, violence against women, violence in general and other forms of domination are, overall, institutionalized phenomena in our society as they are endorsed by powerful groups and political institutions that justify them as necessary in the maintenance of an androcentric social order, one which, contrary to American ideals for democratic governance and inalienable rights for all, idealizes hierarchical rankings in the distribution of power and wealth.
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