skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

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: 148986 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family
Author(s): M A Straus; R J Gelles; S K Steinmetz
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 310
Sponsoring Agency: Anchor/Doubleday Press
Garden City, NY 11530
National Institute of Mental Health
Bethesda, MD 20852
Grant Number: MH17557; MH13050; T35-MH15161
Publication Number: ISBN 0-385-14260-9
Sale Source: Anchor/Doubleday Press
501 Franklin Avenue
Garden City, NY 11530
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The findings in this book on family violence come from a national study of the extent and breadth of violence in American homes, what violence means to participants, and causes of family violence.
Abstract: Families were selected to be representative of the approximately 46 million American families in 1976. Researchers interviewed one adult member of each family selected who were between 18 and 65 years of age. An effort was made to interview an equal number of males and females. The final sample yielded 2,143 completed interviews, 960 men and 1,183 women. Of the 2,143 families, 1,146 had children between 3 and 17 years of age living at home. Violence was measured using the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) that identified three conflict resolution methods: (1) rational discussion and argument; (2) verbal and nonverbal expressions of hostility; and (3) physical force or violence. The study looked at violence between marital partners and between brothers and sisters, social patterns in family violence, causes of family violence, and family violence prevention. Findings indicated that violence involved nearly 2 million wives and 2 million husbands yearly. With respect to children, most parents approved of spanking and slapping their children. Few parents, however, used guns and knives on their children or beat them. The overall level of violence between siblings far exceeded that which occurred between parents and children or between spouses. Social factors made a difference in a family's tendency to engage in violent behavior. Factors related to family violence included age, income, employment, religion, residence, and race. Persistent conflicts and disagreements among couples over time generally caused violence. The safest homes in terms of child and spouse abuse were those with fewer than two children. Measures to reduce family violence are discussed, including shelters, day care services, child welfare services, police and court intervention, family planning, and individual and marital counseling. Appendixes provide further information on the sample and interviewing procedures, violence measurement with the CTS, and indexes used to measure conflict and stress. 159 references and 32 charts
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Abused children; Abused women; Abusing parents; Abusing spouses; Child abuse; Child victims; Criminology; Domestic assault; Female victims; Violence causes; Violence prevention
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=148986

*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.