Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 131-147

First online:

The application of stress theory to the study of family violence: Principles, problems, and prospects

  • Keith FarringtonAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, Whitman College

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This paper investigates the nature of the relationship between social stress and family violence. Specifically, a model of the stress process is presented, the applicability of the concept of stress to the occurrence of family violence is discussed, important research issues relating to the nature of the relationship between these two variables are raised, and predictions are offered regarding the likely impact of social stress upon the incidence of violence in the American family in the future.

Key words

the American family child abuse family violence social stress spouse abuse