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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72383 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Conflict and Communication for Women and Men in Battering Relationships
Author(s): C J Coates; D J Leong
Corporate Author: Denver Safety Office of Policy Analysis
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 91
Sponsoring Agency: Denver Safety Office of Policy Analysis
Denver, CO 80204
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-DF-AX-0058
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A sample of 44 women and 19 men who had been involved in family violence were interviewed to determine characteristics of battered women and abusive men, patterns of violence, positive aspects of the relationship, and communication styles.
Abstract: The study examined the causes of violence in terms of the dynamics of the relationship. Volunteer subjects for this study were referred by crisis centers and support groups in the Denver area and were not in a crisis situation at the time of the research. The sample included six couples, but they were interviewed separately. Participants first completed a demographic questionnaire, Bem's Sex Role Inventory, the This I Believe Test, and a self-esteem scale. In a semistructured interview, they were asked about perceptions of self and others, cycles of battering, positive as well as problem areas of their relationship, family responsibilities, nature of conflicts, and support systems. Finally, reaction to simulated couple conflicts on videotape were assessed. Analysis of the data collected showed that battering was not confined to one social class or occupational group. The typical battering cycle had 3 phases: the building of tension, eruption of violence, and reconciliation. The degree of severity and frequency of violence increased as the cycle was repeated and often involved alcohol or drug abuse. Jealousy and past quarrels were the most common themes in violent arguments. Batterers and battered women reported that physical attractiveness was important in beginning their relationship and both still claimed some positive benefits from their shared lives. The data did not strongly support the low self-esteem usually attributed to the abused woman. Participants used a narrow range of communication techniques that tended to increase tension in conflict situations and showed little insight when confronted with the simulated quarrels. Information based on the six couples suggested an extreme mismatch in conceptual styles, with the most common pattern involving a woman skilled in manipulating an inarticulate and inexpressive partner. If the methodologies employed in this study could be applied to a much larger sample, intervention strategies based on different patterns of belief systems and coping styles might be developed. A bibliography of 42 articles and 3 family problem scenarios are provided.
Index Term(s): Abusing spouses; Battered husbands; Battered wives; Colorado; Domestic assault
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