Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 265–283

The correlates of spouses' incongruent reports of marital aggression

  • Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling
  • Dina Vivian

DOI: 10.1007/BF01531951

Cite this article as:
Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J. & Vivian, D. J Fam Viol (1994) 9: 265. doi:10.1007/BF01531951


Husbands' and wives' reports (n=97 couples) of engaging in or experiencing marital aggression were compared to determine congruence. Congruence was defined as spousal agreement on whether either spouse had been nonviolent, mildly violent, or severely maritally violent within the past year. Whereas approximately equal numbers of clinic couples were incongruent for husband and for wife violence (32% vs. 31%), only incongruence for husband violence (H → W) was found to correlate with reports of affective and relationship functioning. Incongruent H → W wives were more likely to be depressed and angry. H → W incongruent wives were also more negative about the inter-spousal communication and rated the relationship as more unsatisfactory for them than did congruent wives. Incongruent H → W husbands also perceived the relationship more negatively, but their levels of depression and anger did not differ from congruent H → W husbands. These findings were not replicated for spouses who were incongruent for wife violence. Our results support the conclusion that spousal disagreement about H → W violence has a more negative impact than does disagreement about wives' level of aggression.

Key words

congruence marriage violence spouse abuse 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling
    • 1
  • Dina Vivian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at Stony BrookStony Brook
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NebraskaLincoln

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