Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 247–271 | Cite as

Are There Gender Differences in Sustaining Dating Violence? An Examination of Frequency, Severity, and Relationship Satisfaction

  • Jennifer Katz
  • Stephanie Washington Kuffel
  • Amy Coblentz
Article

Abstract

One topic of debate within the field of intimate violence involves the equivalence, or lack thereof, of male-perpetrated versus female-perpetrated violence. To inform this debate, we examined potential gender-related differences in the frequency of sustaining violence, the severity of violence sustained, and effects of violence on relationship satisfaction. Data were collected from 2 samples of heterosexual undergraduates in dating relationships. In both studies, men and women experienced violence at comparable frequencies, although men experienced more frequent moderate violence. Rates of severe violence were extremely low for both sexes across studies. In both investigations, only women experienced lower relationship satisfaction as a function of partner violence. In Study 1, relationship status moderated this effect, such that women in serious dating relationships were less satisfied than either women in less serious relationships or than men as a function of partner violence. In Study 2, women were less satisfied with violent relationships than men regardless of relationship status. We contend that gender-sensitive approaches to relationship violence are important to better understand and prevent both male- and female-perpetrated violence. Directions for future research efforts are outlined.

violence gender frequency severity relationship satisfaction 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Avni, N. (1991). Battered wives: Characteristics of their courtship days. J. Interpers. Viol. 6:232–239.Google Scholar
  2. Arias, I., and Beach, S. R. H. (1987). Validity of self reports of marital violence.J. Fam. Viol. 2:139–149.Google Scholar
  3. Arias, I., and Pape, K. T. (1999). Psychological abuse: Implications for adjustment and commitment to leave violent partners. Viol. Vict. 14: 55–67.Google Scholar
  4. Bernard, M. L., and Bernard, J. L. (1983). Violent intimacy: The family as a model for love relationships. Fam. Relat. 32:283–286.Google Scholar
  5. Bethke, T. M., and DeJoy, D. M. (1993). An experimental study of factors influencing the acceptability of dating violence. J. Interpers. Viol. 8: 36–51.Google Scholar
  6. Capaldi, D. M., and Crosby, L. (1997). Observed and reported psychological and physical aggression in young, at-risk couples. Soc. Dev. 6: 184–206.Google Scholar
  7. Cohen, J. (1978). Partialed products are interactions; partialed powers are curve components. Psychol. Bull. 85: 858–866.Google Scholar
  8. Fincham, F. D., and Bradbury, T. N. (1987). The assessment of marital quality: A re-evaluation.J. Marr. Fam. 49: 797–809.Google Scholar
  9. Follingstad, D. R., Rutledge, L. L., Berg, B. J., Hause, E. S., and Polek, D. S. (1990). The role or emotional abuse in physically abusive relationships. J. Fam. Viol. 5: 107–120.Google Scholar
  10. Foshee, V. A. (1996). Gender differences in adolescent dating abuse: Prevalence, types, and injuries. Health Educ. Res. 11: 275–286.Google Scholar
  11. Gray, H. M., and Foshee, V. (1997). Adolescent dating violence: Differences between one-sided and mutually violent profiles. J. Interpers. Viol. 12: 126–141.Google Scholar
  12. Harris, M.B. (1991). Effects of gender of aggressor, sex of target, and relationship on evaluations of physical aggression. J. Interpers. Viol. 6: 174–186.Google Scholar
  13. Henton, J., Cate, R., Koval, J., Lloyd, S., and Christopher, S. (1983). Romance and violence in dating relationships. J. Fam. Issues 4: 467–482.Google Scholar
  14. Heyman, R. E., Sayers, S. L., and Bellack, A. S. (1994). Global marital satisfaction versus marital adjustment: An empirical comparison of three measures. J. Fam. Psychol. 8: 432–446.Google Scholar
  15. Howell, D.C. (1992). Statistical MethodsFor Psychology, 3rd edn.,PWS-KentCompany, Boston,MA.Google Scholar
  16. Jezl, D. R., Molidor, C. E., and Wright, T. L. (1996). Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse in high school dating relationships: Prevalence rates and self-esteem issues. Child Adolesc.Soc. Work J. 13: 69–87.Google Scholar
  17. Kasian, M., and Painter, S. L. (1992). Frequency and severity of psychological abuse in a dating population. J. Interpers. Viol. 7: 350–364.Google Scholar
  18. Katz, J., Anderson, P., and Beach, S. R. H. (1997). Dating relationship quality: Effects of global self-verification and self-enhancement. J. Pers. Soc. Relat. 14: 829–842.Google Scholar
  19. Katz, J., and Beach, S. R. H. (1997a). Romance in the crossfire: When do women's depressive symptoms influence partner relationship satisfaction? J. Soc. Clin. Psychol. 16: 243–258.Google Scholar
  20. Katz, J., and Beach, S. R. H. (1997b). Self-verification and depressive symptoms in marriage and courtship: A multiple pathway model. J. Marr. Fam. 15: 903–914.Google Scholar
  21. Katz, J., Beach, S. R. H., and Joiner, T. E., Jr. (1998).When does partner devaluation predict emotional distress? Prospective moderating effects of reassurance-seeking and self-esteem.Pers. Relation. 5: 409–421.Google Scholar
  22. Katz, J., Beach, S. R. H., and Joiner, T. E., Jr. (1999). Contagious depression in dating couples.J. Soc. Clin. Psychol. 18: 1–13.Google Scholar
  23. Kurz, D. (1995). Physical assaults by male partners: A major social problem. In Walsh, M. R.(ed.), Women, Men, and Gender, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, pp. 222–232.Google Scholar
  24. Locke, H. J., and Wallace, K. M. (1959). Short marital adjustment and prediction tests: Their reliability and validity. Marr. Fam. Living 21: 251–255.Google Scholar
  25. Makepeace, J. M. (1981). Courtship violence among college students. Fam. Relat. 30: 97–102.Google Scholar
  26. Makepeace, J. M. (1986). Gender differences in courtship violence victimization. Fam. Relat.35: 383–388.Google Scholar
  27. Makepeace, J. (1989). Dating, living together, and courtship violence. In Pirog-Good, M. A.,and Stets, J. E. (eds.), Violence in Dating Relationships: Emerging Social Issues, Praeger Publishers, New York, pp. 94–107.Google Scholar
  28. Marshall, L. L. (1996). Psychological abuse of women: Six distinct clusters J. Fam. Viol. 11:379–409.Google Scholar
  29. McHugh, M. C., Frieze, I. H., and Browne, A. (1993). Research on battered woman and their assailants. In Denmark, F. L., and Paludi, M. A. (eds.), Psychology of Women: A Handbookof Issues and Theories, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, pp. 513–552.Google Scholar
  30. Nadien,6M. B., and Denmark, F. L. (1999). Females and Autonomy: A Lifespan Perspective,Allyn & Bacon, Boston.Google Scholar
  31. Neidig, P. H., and Friedman, D. H. (1984). Spouse Abuse: A Treatment Program for Couples, Research Press, Champaign, IL.Google Scholar
  32. Norton, R. (1983). Measuring marital satisfaction: A critical look at the dependent variable.J. Marr. Fam. 45: 141–151.Google Scholar
  33. O'sullivan, L. F., and Byers, E. S. (1992). College students’ incorporation of initiator and restrictor roles in sexual dating interactions. J. Sex Res. 29: 435–446.Google Scholar
  34. Riggs, D. S., O'Leary, K.D., and Breslin, F. C. (1990). Multiple correlates of physical aggression in dating couples. J. Interpers. Viol. 5: 61–73.Google Scholar
  35. Rose, S., and Frieze, I. H. (1989). Young singles’ scripts for a first date. Gender Soc. 3: 258–268.Google Scholar
  36. Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. J. Marr. Fam. 38: 15–28.Google Scholar
  37. Stets, J. (1991). Cohabiting and marital aggression: The role of social isolation. J. Marr. Fam.53: 669–680.Google Scholar
  38. Stets, J., and Pirog-Good, M. A. (1987). Violence in dating relationships. Soc. Psychol. Q. 50:237–246.Google Scholar
  39. Stets, J., and Pirog-Good, M. A. (1989). Patterns of physical and sexual abuse for men and women in dating relationships: A descriptive analysis. J. Fam. Viol. 4: 63–76.Google Scholar
  40. Straus, M. A. (1979). Measuring intrafamily conflict and violence: The Conflict Tactics (CT) scales. J. Marr. Fam. 41: 75–88.Google Scholar
  41. Straus, M. A. (1995). Physical assaults by male partners: A major social problem. In Walsh, M. R. (ed.), Women, Men, and Gender, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT,pp. 210–221.Google Scholar
  42. Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., and Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The revised Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS2): Development and preliminary psychometric data. J. Fam. Issues 17:283–316.Google Scholar
  43. Vivian, D., and Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J. (1994). Are bi-directionally violent couples mutually victimized? A gender-sensitive comparison. Viol. Vict. 9: 107–124.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Katz
    • 1
  • Stephanie Washington Kuffel
    • 1
  • Amy Coblentz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington State UniversityPullman

Personalised recommendations