This study used a modified version of the Conflict Tactics Scale to examine the prevalence of premarital aggression in a community sample of husbands and wives. The sample consisted of 625 couples participating in a longitudinal study of marital functioning and alcohol use. Consistent with past studies, the overall prevalence rate of husband-to-wife premarital aggression was 35%. Sociodemographic variables were associated with premarital aggression, with differences emerging primarily with regard to moderate aggression rather than mild aggression. Further, factors such as race, education, social class, cohabitation, and presence of children were independently associated with premarital aggression. This study is one of the first to examine premarital aggression in a large, heterogeneous sample of young husbands and wives at the same stage of relationship development. Future analyses will examine the prevalence, frequency, and continuity of husband and wife aggression over the first year of marriage.
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McLaughlin, I.G., Leonard, K.E. & Senchak, M. Prevalence and distribution of premarital aggression among couples applying for a marriage license. Journal of Family Violence 7, 309–319 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00994621
- marital aggression
- spouse abuse