Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 191–203 | Cite as

Observational experiences of intrapersonal conflict and teenage victimization: A comparative study among spouses and cohabitors

  • Nicky Ali Jackson


This study drew from the National Family Violence Resurvey of 1985 provided by Straus and Gelles. Five thousand one hundred fifty nine married and cohabiting couples were asked about violent experiences and observations in their family of orientation. These experiences were categorized by the degree of severity as well as its frequency. Intrafamilial conflict impacts on behavior in intimate relationships. The status of the relationship also contributes to the vulnerability towards victimization. Specifically, cohabitors were more likely to engage infuture violentrelationships than spouses given similar patterns of teenage victimization and observation. One explanation for the variation may include anticipation of nonfamilial violence over familial violence. Society fears violence at the hands of a stranger more so than a family member. This affects the greater acceptability to engage in violence with a partner who remains nonfamilial. Past studies have addressed the cycle of violence theory in explaining predictability. Nevertheless, this study initiates the comparison of unique populations within intergenerational transfer research. It proposes that more research needs to be conducted to better understand variation patterns among various victim populations. In other words, why some groups are more vulnerable to victimization and perpetration given similar background experiences should be explored.

Key Words

intraparental conflict teenage victimization cohabitors 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicky Ali Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral SciencesPurdue University-CalumetHammond

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