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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70548 Find in a Library
Title: Violence-Prone Families
Journal: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences  Volume:347  Dated:(June 20, 1980)  Pages:251-265
Author(s): S K Steinmetz
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 15
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper presents an overview of the characteristics of violence-prone families. The frequency of domestic violence, sibling violence, child abuse and marital abuse are examined in relation to the social and psychological characteristics of violence.
Abstract: Variables contributing to family violence, such as immaturity, depressions, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and severe character disorders are also presented. The family's position in the community is examined in terms of social class, blue collar/white collar status, income, education, and employment status. Occupational environment, a concept that focuses on the tasks and ideology inherent in specific occupations, was found to predict, with more accuracy than social class, the parent's use of violence on children. Families lacking in close personal friendships and poorly integrated into the community are likely to experience family violence. Like other kinds of violence, the highest rates of family violence tend to be found in urban areas. However, data from a national survey did not show a consistent relationship between size of the residential area and family violence. Race was found to predict levels of family violence: while blacks tended to be more violent than whites for child, wife, and husband abuse, they reported lower rates of sibling violence. Experiencing violence during childhood was found to be characteristic in the backgrounds of murderers, assaultants and batterers, rapists, political assassins, and individuals who commit suicide. Further research into the causes of family violence should consider not only the biologically based instinctual theories and Freudian psychoanalytic ones, but also theories emphasizing the sociocultural context. Moreover, investigation of chromosomal, hormonal, and other chemical influences on violence must not be discounted. Sixty-eight references are appended.
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Child abuse; Child abuse as delinquency factor; Demography; Domestic assault; Frequency distribution; Interpersonal relations; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime; Social classes; Violence
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