skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 113383 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Physical Aggression Between Spouses: A Social Learning Theory Perspective (From Handbook of Family Violence, P 31-55, 1988, Vincent B Van Hasselt, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-113381)
Author(s): K D O'Leary
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH35340
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After reviewing major psychological conceptualizations of aggression, social learning theory, and criteria for evaluating theories, the major portion of this paper covers a theoretical account of spousal aggression, followed by an evaluation of a social learning account of spousal aggression and the generalizability of the spousal aggression model to child abuse.
Abstract: According to social learning theory, most human behavior is learned through modeling. Under this theory, ideas of how new behaviors are performed are acquired from observing others, and these coded observations become guides for further action. This review of social learning theory as an explanation of spousal aggression focuses on violence in the family of origin, stress, aggression as a personality style, alcohol use, and relationship (marital) dissatisfaction. The author concludes that although the social learning approach to spousal aggression has proven useful in attempting to explain events with grounding in empirical observations, it is not an especially parsimonious approach to spousal aggression. The author believes that aggression, spousal aggression in particular, is a multidetermined phenomenon that requires complex models for prediction and understanding. Such models will require many data sources and many empirical relations. Some integration of a model of spousal aggression and child abuse could occur, because the history of family violence, aggressive personality style, stress, alcohol use, and marital discord relate both to spouse abuse and child abuse. 4 figures, 71 references.
Main Term(s): Spouse abuse causes
Index Term(s): Abusing spouses; Social Learning
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.