MENTAL HEALTH AND VIOLENCE
BETWEEN MARITAL AND DATING PARTNERS
ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN AND IN 32 NATIONS
Murray A. Straus
Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824 603-862-2594 [email protected]
Website: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2
• Presented at the International Association of Mental Health
Services annual meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 26 May
2010
• Other publications on this and related issues can be downloaded
from http//:www.pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2
• The work was supported by National Institute of Mental Health
grant T32MH15161 and by the University of New Hampshire
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1
QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED
1. What is the prevalence of physical assault on partners
A. Over the life course
B. By men and women
C. In economically developed and developing nations?
2. To what extent are mental health problems a risk factor for
partner violence?
3. Is the relation of mental health problems to partner assault
different:
A. For men and women?
B. In economically developed and developing nations?
4. What are the implications for prevention and treatment of
physical violence against partners?
 Answer using results of several studies, but especially the
International Dating Violence Study
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QUESTION 1
What is the prevalence of physical assault on partners
(“Partner violence” or PV from here on)
A. By men and women
B. Over the life course
C. In economically developed and developing nations?
All data is on perpetration
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PHYSICAL ASSAULT SCALE
Of The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales *
Minor Physical Assault:
• Threw something at partner that could hurt
• Twisted my partner’s arm or hair
• Pushed or shoved my partner
• Grabbed my partner
• Slapped my partner
Severe Physical Assault:
• Punched or hit my partner with something that could hurt
• Choked my partner
• Slammed my partner against a wall
• Beat up my partner
• Burned or scalded my partner
• Kicked my partner
• Used a knife or gun on my partner
Alpha: By participant - Males = .786, Females = .774, Total = .777
By partner - Males = .785, Females = .802, Total = .797
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* For papers on this test, see http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2
4
Table 1. Ten Examples of the More Than 200 Studies Showing Gender Symmetry
in Perpetration of Physical. Assault
Perpetrator
Study
Canadian National Survey (Lupri, 1990)
Severity Of
Assault
Male
Female
Minor
Severe
17.8%
10.1%
23.3%
12.9%
Canadian General Social Survey (1999)
Overall rate
7.0%
8.0%\
British Crime Survey (1996)
Overall rate
4.2%
4.1%
17.4%
6.5%
17.7%
6.2%
National Co-morbidity Study (Kessler, 2001)
Minor
Severe
National Alcohol and Family Violence Survey (Straus, 1995)
Overall rate
Severe
9.1%
1.9%
Dunedin Health and Development Study (US Dept of justice 1999)
Overall rate
27.0 %
34.0%
National Violence Against Women Survey (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000)
Overall rate
1.3%
0.9%
Youth Risk Behavior Survey (Centers For Disease Control, 2006)
Overall rat
8.8%
8.9%
National Youth Survey (Wofford-Mihalic, Elliott, & Menard,,1994).
Overall
Severe
% of Emergency room visits for PV (Annals of Emergency Medicine)
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20.2%
5.7%
19.0%
9.5%
4.5%
34.1%
3.8%
20.0%
5
EVEN IN MALE-DOMINANT NATIONS,
MORE GIRLS HIT PARTNERS THAN BOYS
• World Health Organization - Global School-based Health Survey
• Students 13 to 15 years old
• Asked if they had been hit, slapped or hurt on purpose by a boyfriend
or girlfriend in the past 12 months
Percent “Yes”
Girls Boys
Jordan
15
29
Namibia
9
16
Swaziland
6
8
Zambia
`
18
23
Global School-based Health Survey. Geneva: World Health Organization 2006 http://www.cdc.gov/gshs or
http://www.who.int/school_youth_health/gshs This data has now been removed from the WHO files.
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THE INTERNATIONAL DATING
VIOLENCE STUDY
http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID.htm
 17,404 Students At 68 Universities
 In 32 Nations
 All Major World Regions
 Convenience Samples
Questionnaire Completed In Class
 Analyses Control For And/Or Examines
Interactions With:
* Gender and Age
* Score on Social Desirability
Response set scale
* Other controls as needed for
specific analyses
 VALIDITY OF THE DATA
• Concurrent validity: correlated with
recognized international statistics
• Construct Validity: Show in many
published papers
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8
ASSAULT, TOTAL - BY PARTNER % in rank order of national context
Median: Total = 25.0%, Males = 24.8%, Females = 26.2%,
High Half Of Nations
(CTATPP_1J)
F% of M = 106%
Low Half Of Nations
Total
Male
Iran
41.0
43.0
40.0
South Korea
24.7
19.5
28.3
Mexico
39.5
21.2
39.0
Lithuania
24.4
18.5
27.4
India
35.8
40.9
34.2
Germany
24.3
26.4
23.4
Great Britain
33.3
33.9
33.1
Venezuela
24.1
23.5
24.5
Tanzania
33.1
29.2
37.2
Canada
23.1
21.8
23.6
South Africa
33.0
28.6
33.3
Australia
22.7
28.6
21.5
New Zealand
30.8
35.7
29.4
Guatemala
22.7
20.9
24.7
Greece
30.3
34.5
29.0
Hungary
21.7
27.5
19.1
China -Taiwan
29.0
17.9
32.5
Brazil
20.4
16.7
22.2
Belgium
28.2
25.0
29.1
Singapore
18.5
13.4
20.8
Russia
28.0
29.2
27.1
Switzerland
17.7
23.3
16.0
Romania
27.9
41.7
26.4
Japan
17.3
19.4
15.5
United States
27.9
29.1
27.3
Sweden
16.9
22.7
15.1
China
27.0
24.7
28.4
Malta
16.5
31.8
12.3
China-Hong K
25.4
24.1
26.0
Portugal
13.6
11.9
14.5
Netherlands
25.2
31.3
24.3
Israel
12.6
15.8
11.9
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Feml
Total
Male
Feml
ASSAULT RATE
High everywhere
but also big
differences
between nations
Percent of
women who
assault partner is
similar to the
percent of men
in all nations
9
ASSAULT, SEVERE - BY PARTNER % in rank order of national context
Median: Total = 9.1%,
Males = 9.1%,
Females = 8.5%,
(CTASPP_1)
F% of M = 93%
Low Half Of Nations
High Half Of Nations
Total
Male
Tanzania
17.1
12.4
12.9
Russia
9.1
8.2
2.5
Greece
15.6
16.4
11.4
Canada
8.0
7.8
15.0
Iran
15.3
17.4
8.5
Belgium
7.8
5.3
8.1
Mexico
15.1
9.1
2.7
Germany
7.6
8.1
15.3
India
14.7
9.1
5.7
Japan
6.8
4.8
6.2
China
13.6
11.5
13.4
Brazil
6.5
7.7
3.7
China -Taiwan
13.6
15.4
10.3
Hungary
6.2
9.8
14.7
Great Britain
13.4
13.6
9.4
New Zealand
6.2
7.1
9.1
Venezuela
13.4
14.3
12.9
Portugal
5.8
5.1
9.7
South Korea
12.6
9.1
16.3
Israel
5.7
5.3
15.0
South Africa
11.9
18.0
10.8
Lithuania
4.9
2.3
4.9
China-Hong K
11.1
10.2
16.4
Malta
4.9
4.5
5.9
United States
10.5
10.9
10.8
Switzerland
4.7
8.2
7.4
Australia
9.4
11.9
6.0
Singapore
4.2
3.0
13.0
Romania
9.4
12.5
4.7
Netherlands
3.9
12.5
6.2
Guatemala
9.1
8.8
4.5
Sweden
2.7
3.1
17.0
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Feml
Total
Male
Feml
Rates of severe
assault also high
Approximately
equal rates for
men and women
also applies to
severe assaults
10
ASSAULTS ON MARITAL AND DATING PARTNERS
DECREASES OVER THE LIFE COURSE
* For men and women
* In economically developed and developing nations
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DECREASE IN SPOUSAL ASSAULT IN FIRST
SEVEN YEARS OF MARRIAGE*
383 newlywed couples. At the time of marriage, and Yr 1, 2, 4, & 7
H toW
W to H Assault
* Brian M. Quigley, Lorig Kachadourian, & Kenneth E. Leonard
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K. Leonard et al
DOMESTIC ASSAULTS BY BOTH MEN AND WOMEN DECLINE WITH AGE
British National Crime Survey, 1996
Mirrlees-Black, C. (1999). Domestic
Violence: Findings from a new British
Crime Survey self-completion
questionnaire: A Research,
development and statistics
directorate report (Vol. Home Office
Research Study 191). London: Home
Office
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.
14
WHEN THERE IS VIOLENCE MUTUAL VIOLENCE PREDOMINATES
SIX OF THE 17 GENERAL POPULATION STUDIES SHOWING
MUTUAL VIOLENCE PREDOMINATES, EXCEPT FOR KOREA
Among Violent Couples:
Both
Violent
Male
Only
Female
Only
1. National Family Violence Survey,1975
48%
25%
27%
2. National Co-morbidity Survey. 1990-02
54%
23%
24%
3. National Long. Study of Adolescent Health, 2001
50%
15%
35%
4. International Dating Violence Study, 2001-06
55%
16%
29%
5. International Parenting Study 2008
39%
11%
29%
6. Korean national survey -
12%
17%
49%
70%
11%
13%
Study
Any Violence
Severe Violence
1. Straus, M. A., Gelles, R. J., & Steinmetz, S. K. (1980 (2006)). Behind closed doors: Violence in the American family New York: Doubleday/Anchor
Books (Re-issued Transaction Publications, 2006 with a new forward)
2..As reported by women. Kessler, R. C., Molnar, B. E., Feurer, I. D., & Appelbaum, M. (2001). Patterns and mental health predictors of domestic
violence in the United States: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey. International Journal Of Law And Psychiatry, 24(4-5), 487-508.
3..Whitaker, D. J., Haileyesus, T., Swahn, M., & Saltzman, L. S. (2007). Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury Between Relationships
With Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence American Journal of Public Health, 97(5), 941-947.
4. Straus, M. A. (2008). Dominance and symmetry in partner violence by male and female university students in 32 nations. Children and Youth Services
Review, 30, 252-275.
5. Straus, M. A. (2009). Violence between parents reported by male and female university students: Prevalence, severity, chronicity, and mutuality. Journal
of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 1(1), 4-12..
6.. Kim, Jae-Yop and Emery, Clifton (2003) Marital Power, Conflict, Norm Consensus, and Marital Violence in a Nationally Representative
Sample of Korean Couples. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 18:197-219.
16
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MUTUALITY OF ASSAULT PERPETRATION IN DATING
RELATIONSHIPS OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN 32 NATIONS
Study of 14,252
students in a
dating
relationship.
This chart is for
the 4,239 who
reported one or
more incidents of
violence.
Straus, M. A. (2007). Dominance and symmetry in partner violence by male and female university students in
ID9232 nations. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 252-275.
17
MUTUAL VIOLENCE
PREDOMINATES
ACCORDING TO
BOTH MEN AND
WOMEN
(Percentages are
for the part of the
sample in which at
least one assault
occurred in the
previous 12
months
Can be a high
percent of a small
number of
couples(as in
Sweden)
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ASSAULT ,TOTAL - % BOTH VIOLENT (AMONG VIOLENT RELATIONSHIPS)
AS REPORTED BY MEN AND WOMEN (In rank order of national context (CUAT_3)
Median: Total = 68.7%,
Males = 74.3%, Females = 67.3%
Low Half Of Nations
High Half Of Nations
Total
Male
Feml
Total
Iran
92.6
100.0
89.8
Canada
68.6
73.6
67.2
Tanzania
90.5
89.7
91.2
Venezuela
68.4
56.7
76.1
South Africa
89.5
100.0
88.9
China-Taiwan
66.7
87.5
63.6
India
81.1
88.9
78.6
Guatemala
66.0
80.0
56.7
Japan
79.3
85.7
73.3
Portugal
65.2
87.5
58.0
Great Britain
77.7
80.0
77.4
New Zealand
63.8
40.0
70.3
Mexico
77.3
77.8
77.3
Australia
63.5
53.8
66.0
Lithuania
71.9
88.9
67.3
Germany
63.2
64.4
62.6
South Korea
71.4
70.0
72.1
China
61.9
71.3
58.4
Russia
71.2
75.5
69.0
Switzerland
61.7
63.6
61.0
Netherlands
71.1
100.0
67.3
Greece
59.8
70.8
55.6
Brazil
71.0
76.5
68.9
Israel
58.7
81.8
53.8
Hungary
69.8
75.0
66.7
Sweden
58.0
71.8
53.2
United States
69.5
72.7
68.2
Singapore
57.9
41.7
62.2
Romania
69.0
54.5
71.1
China-Hong K
54.3
59.2
52.9
Belgium
68.8
67.3
69.1
Malta
50.0
55.6
18
46.7
Male
Feml
SEVERE ASSAULT - % BOTH VIOLENT (AMONG VIOLENT RELATIONSHIPS)
AS REPORTED BY MEN AND WOMEN (in rank order of national context (CUAS_3J)
Median: Total = 57%, AS REPORTED BY: Males = 62, Females = 56%
Low Half Of Nations
High Half Of Nations
Total
Male
Japan
74.0
75.0
85.7
United States
57.0
60.4
55.7
Tanzania
73.0
73.3
72.7
Guatemala
55.6
44.4
66.7
Brazil
72.2
57.1
81.8
Germany
55.3
50.0
57.6
India
70.6
33.3
78.6
Russia
55.2
81.3
45.2
Portugal
69.6
100.0
58.8
Australia
53.6
80.0
47.8
South Korea
67.7
75.0
65.2
Lithuania
48.5
33.3
51.9
Iran
66.7
100.0
57.1
Belgium
48.3
46.2
48.6
Venezuela
64.3
64.7
64.0
Netherlands
47.8
66.7
41.2
Israel
64.0
75.0
61.9
China-Hong K
47.5
70.6
42.7
Canada
61.5
63.0
61.1
New Zealand
46.7
50.0
46.2
South Africa
61.1
100.0
56.3
Singapore
46.2
0.0
54.5
Mexico
60.5
50.0
61.8
Romania
44.1
66.7
41.9
Great Britain
59.7
33.3
63.5
Hungary
42.1
57.1
33.3
Greece
59.1
58.3
59.4
China
39.8
38.1
40.3
China -Taiwan
58.3
100.0
50.0
Sweden
25.0
40.0
21.1
Switzerland
57.1
83.3
46.7
Malta
24.0
0.0
14.3
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Feml
Total
Male
Feml
According to
both women &
men: mutual
violence is
predominant for
severe assaults
as well as minor
assaults
Percent mutual
is close to results
of other studies
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IN ALL 32 NATIONS IN THE INTERNATIONAL DATING
VIOLENCE STUDY, AND IN OVER 200 OTHER STUDIES THAT
HAVE DATA FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN
(Most studies obtain data only on female victims/male perpetrators)
 About the same percent of women as men physically assault a partner
 When there is violence, the most prevalent pattern is mutual violence
 About the same percent of women as men are the first to hit
 Self –defense is rarely the instigating cause of assaults by women or men
(Slides available on my) website
 The main instigating cause is anger over a behavior of the partner such as
o Failure to do household chores
o Infidelity
o Money
o Child care and management etc
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IS MUTUALITY A RESULT OF SELF-DEFENSE BY WOMEN?
World Health Organization report on violence (Krug, 2002)
“Where violence by women occurs it is more likely to be in the form of
self-defense (32, 37, 38)”
What do references 32, 37, and 38 really show?
All three asserted that women's violence was primarily in self-defense, but:
#32 Saunders reports that 70% of the minor violence and 60% of the
severe violence was NOT in self-defense
#37 DeKesseredy et al. 37% of the minor violence and 43% of the
severe violence was initiated by women.
#38 Johnson & Ferraro (Michael P. Johnson & Ferraro, 2000) cites
references 32 and 37 but presents no new data
Six other studies report data on self-defense
* Five of the six found only a small percentage of female violence was
in self-defense
* One found high rates of self-defense, but percent in self-defense was
slightly greater for men (56%) than for women (42%) (Harned, 2001)
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OTHER DATA THAT CONTRADICTS THE SELF-DEFENSE EXPLANATION
 About the same percent of women as men are the first to hit (Straus, 2005)
 About a quarter of partner-violence is female only (see previous table)
 Most usual proximate motivations for violence by women, like motivations of
men, are:
o Anger
o Coercion to do or stop doing something
o Punishing partner’s misbehavior (Cascardi & Vivian, 1995; Fiebert &
Gonzalez, 1997; Pearson, 1997)
Example:
Pearson (1997): 90% of women studied assaulted their partner
because they were furious or jealous, or frustrated, not to defend
themselves.
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MUTUAL VIOLENCE IS
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT BECAUSE
Associated with 2 to 5 times higher rate of injury
When violence is mutual there is little difference in injury rates for
men and women
This applies to injury sustained and injury inflicted by women and
by men, and as reported by women as well as by men
An additional reason why prevention and treatment must address
`women as well as men
 Essential to recognize for effective treatment
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WOMEN SUFFER MORE INJURY
THE HIGHER THE ASSAULT RATE BY STUDENTS IN EACH NATION,
THE HIGHER THE SEVERE INJURY RATE,
r = 57
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r = .18
Iran Omitted. 31 Nations
24
Question 2:
To what extent are mental health problems a risk factor
for partner violence?
Question 3:
Is the relation of mental health problems to partner assault
different:
A. For men and women?
B. In economically developed and developing nations?
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THE PERSONAL AND RELATIONSHIPS PROFILE (PRP)
Measures 25 Risk Factors For Partner Violence
16 Scales For Individual Characteristics
ASP
Antisocial Personality Symptoms
BOR
Borderline Personality Symptoms
CH
Criminal History
DEP
Depressive Symptoms
GHM Gender Hostility To Men
GHW Gender Hostility to Women
LD
Limited Disclosure
POS
Positive Parenting
PTS
Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms
SUB2 Alcohol Abuse
SUB 3 Drug Abuse
SC
Self-Control
SI
Social Integration
STR
Stressful Conditions
SAH
Sexual Abuse History
VA
Violence Approval
VS
Violent Socialization
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8 Scales For Couple
Relationships
(Behavior towards or beliefs about
the partner)
AM Poor Anger Management
CP Communication Problems
CON Conflict
DOM Dominance
JEL Jealousy
NA Negative Attribution
RC Relationship Commitment
RD Relationship Distress
This test is available
on my website
26
ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY IS ASSOCIATED WITH AN 89% INCREASE
IN ASSAULT (COMPARING LOWEST AND HIGHEST SCORING FIFTH)
Assault
Scale
Anti-Social Personality F=33.5, p<.001
(Anti-Social Personality Quintiles)
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THE LINK BETWEEN ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY & ASSAULT
APPLIES TO BOTH MEN AND WOMEN
Assault
Scale
Antisocial Personality F=33.5, p<.001
Gender F=160.4, p<.001
Gender*Anti-Social F=5.9, p<.001
Female
Male
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Anti-Social Personality (Quintiles)
28
LINK BETWEEN ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY & ASSAULT APPLIES TO
BOTH ECONOMICALLY DEVELOPING & DEVELOPED NATIONS
Assault
Scale
Low GDP
High GDP
Anti-Social Personality F=33.5, p<.001
GDP F=29.3, p<.001
Anti-Social*GDP F=2.0, p=.024
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Anti-Social Personality
(Quintiles)
29
THE HIGHER THE AVERAGE ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY SCORE OF
STUDENTS IN A NATION, THE HIGHER THE AVERAGE ASSAULT SCORE
FOR THAT NATION
High Antisocial
And high assault
nations
Assault
r=.5
5
Antisocial Personality Symptoms
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THE LINK BETWEEN ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY & ASSAULT IS
STRONGER FOR ASSAULTS BY WOMEN THAN BY MEN, EVEN
THOUGH WOMEN HAVE LOWER ASP
Men
Women
r=.28
ID92
Antisocial Personality Symptoms
(Mean for students in each nation)
r=.68
31
PRIOR CRIME IS ASSOCIATED WITH A 77% INCREASE IN ASSAULT
Assault
Scale
Criminal History F=28.7, p<.001
Criminal History (Quintiles)
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PRIOR CRIME IS ASSOCIATED WITH ASSAULT BY BOTH MEN & WOMEN
EVEN THOUGH WOMEN COMMIT FAR FEWER CRIMES
Assault
Scale
Female
Male
Criminal History F=28.7, p<.001
Gender F=160.5, p<.001
Crim History*Gender F=4.8, p=.001
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Criminal History (Quintiles)
33
PRIOR CRIME IS STRONGLY RELATED TO ASSAULTING A DATING
PARTNER AT ALL LEVELS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Low GDP
Assault
Scale
High GDP
Criminal History F=28.7, p<.001
GDP F=27.9, p<.001
Crim History*GDP F=1.9, p=.031
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Criminal History (Quintiles)
34
THE HIGHER THE PRIOR CRIME SCORE OF STUDENTS IN A NATION,
THE HIGHER THE AVERAGE ASSAULT SCORE FOR THAT NATION
Assault
r=.39
Criminal History
(Mean for students in each nation)
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THE LINK BETWEEN PRIOR CRIME & ASSAULT IS STRONGER FOR
ASSAULTS BY WOMEN THAN BY MEN EVEN THOUGH WOMEN COMMIT
Men
FEWER CRIMES
Women
Assault
r=.13
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Criminal History
(Mean for students in each nation)
r=.50
36
FOR THE OTHER FIVE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
Only discuss the “main effect” slide (just flash by the others)
All follow the same pattern
The higher the mental health problem score, the more assault
Same relationship for men and women, and for low and high
economic development natipns
But all available on my website (Google my name)
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POST TRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS
ARE RELATED TO A 77% INCREASE IN PARTNER ASSAULTS
Assault
Scale
PTS F=24.8, p<.001
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Post Traumatic Stress (Quintiles)
38
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS
ARE STRONGLY RELATED TO ASSAULT BY WOMEN AS WELL AS MEN
Assault
Scale
Female
Male
PTS F=24.8, p<.001
Gender F=86.6, p<.001
PTSD*Gender F=1.9, p=.114
ID92
Post Traumatic Stress
(Quintiles)
39
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS IS RELATED TO
ASSAULTING AT ALL LEVELS OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Assault
Scale
Low GDP
High GDP
PTS F=24.8, p<.001
GDP F=27.5, p<.001
PTSD*GDP F=1.5, p=.114
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Post Traumatic Stress
(Quintiles)
40
THE HIGHER THE POST TRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS OF
STUDENTS IN A NATION, THE HIGHER THE ASSAULT RATE FOR THAT
NATION
Assault
r=.53
Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms
(Mean for students in each nation)
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BORDERLINE PERSONALITY SYMPTOMS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A 66%
INCREASE IN ASSAULTING A DATING PARTNER
Assault
Scale
Borderline F=53.4, p<.001
Borderline (Quintiles)
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THE LINK BETWEEN BORDERLINE PERSONALITY SYMPTOMS AND
ASSAULTING A PARTNER APPLIES TO BOTH MEN A ND WOMEN
Assault
Scale
Female
Male
Borderline F=53.4, p<.001
Gender F=103.0, p<.001
Borderline*Gender F=3.8, p=.004
Borderline (Quintiles)
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BORDERLINE PERSONALITY IS A RISK FACTOR FOR PARTNER VIOLENCE
AT ALL FOUR LEVELS OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Assault
Scale
Low GDP
High GDP
Borderline F=53.4, p<.001
GDP F=25.0, p<.001
Borderline*GDP F=.71, p=.74
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Borderline (Quintiles)
44
THE HIGHER THE AVERAGE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY SCORE OF
STUDENTS IN A NATION, THE HIGHER THE RATE OF ASSAULT
Assault
r=.60
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Borderline Personality Symptoms
(Quintiles)
45
STUDENTS IN THE TOP FIFTH OF DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS
ARE 39% MORE LIKELY TO ASSAULT A DATING PARTNER
Assault
Scale
Depression F=9.9, p<.001
Depressive Symptoms (Quintiles)
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DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS ARE MORE CLOSELY RELATED TO
ASSAULTS BY WOMEN
Depression F=9.9, p<.001
Gender F=100.2, p<.001
Depression*Gender F=4.7, p=.001
Assault
Scale
Female
Male
Depressive Symptoms (Quintiles)
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THE HIGHER THE DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS SCORE OF STUDENTS
IN A NATION, THE HIGHER THE AVERAGE ASSAULT SCORE FOR THAT
NATION
Assault
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Depressive Symptoms
(Mean for students in each nation)
48
LINK BETWEEN DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS & ASSAULT IS STRONGER FOR
ASSAULTS BY WOMEN THAN BY MEN
Men
Women
Assault
r=.00
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Depressive Symptoms
(Mean for students in each nation)
r=.43
49
ALCOHOL ABUSE IS ASSOCIATED WITH A 29% INCREASE IN ASSAULT
Assault
Scale
Alcohol Abuse F=6.1, p<.001
Alcohol Abuse (Quintiles)
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LINK BETWEEN ALCOHOL ABUSE & ASSAULT APPLIES TO BOTH MEN AND
WOMEN
Female
Assault
Scale
Male
Alcohol Abuse F=6.1, p<.001
Gender F=114.8, p<.001
Alcohol*Gender F=.50, p=.737
Alcohol Abuse (Quintiles)
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DRUG ABUSE IS ASSOCIATED WITH A 29% INCREASE IN THE ASSAULT
SCALE SCORE
Assault
Scale
Drug Abuse F=16.6, p<.001
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Drug Abuse
(Terciles)
52
THE LINK BETWEEN DRUG ABUSE & ASSAULT APPLIES TO BOTH MEN
AND WOMEN
Assault
Scale
Female
Male
Drug Abuse F=16.6, p<.001
Gender F=84.3, p<.001
Drug Abuse*Gender F=.05, p=.95
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Drug
Abuse(Terciles)
53
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1. Partner violence may the most frequent type of assault
2. Like other acts of violence and other crime, it declines rapidly
with age
3. Most partner violence is mutual
4. Retaliation is common, self-defense is a low percent of
partner violence
5. At least 7 types of Mental health problems are risk factors for
partner violence
6. All five of the above apply to:
* Women as well as men
* In developing as well as economically developed nations
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ALL OF THE RELATIONSHIPS SHOWN
ARE “RISK FACTORS” NOT A ONE-TO-ONE CAUSE
 A Condition Which Increases The Probability Of A Disease Or Problem
 EXAMPLES:
–Smoking And Death From Smoking Related Disease
1/3 will die by age 65 a from smoking related disease – which
means that 2/3 will not
--Pregnancy With HIV And Child Born With HIV
“Only” 20% are born with HIV, i.e. 80% are not
--Corporal Punishment As A Child And Assaulting A Partner
Percent assaulting increased form 8 to 24% -- 3 times more
which means that 76% of those spanked the most do not assault
 Almost all social science and most medical research results are like this.
Risk factors not one-to-one relationships
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QUESTION 4 What are the implications?
A. THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS
 Change conceptualization of partner violence
From: A manifestation of “patriarchy” as THE cause
TO:
Family system conceptualization which recognizes that:
• Most partner violence is mutual
• Patriarchal dominance is just one of many causes
• Mental health and social skill problems are often a cause
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B. IMPLICATIONS FOR VICTIM SERVICES.
PREVENTION, AND TREATMENT
Victim Services: Maintain focus on women because women
• Are injured more and have less resources
• But also provide services for male victims
Prevention programs: Replace programs directed to men and boys with
programs explicitly addressed to both genders – not “gender neutral”
Treatment of partner violence: Replace “patriarchy” assumption with:
• Initial screening to determine whether it is unilateral or mutual,
• Treatment based on that diagnosis, rather than one size fits all
• Stop blocking anger management and mental health treatment
See Straus, M. A. (2009). Gender symmetry in partner violence: Evidence and
implications for prevention and treatment. In D. J. Whitaker & J. R. Lutzker (Eds.),
Preventing partner violence: Research and evidence-based intervention strategies.
Washington D.C. : American Psychological Association.
57
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SOME REFERENCES ON THE INTERNATIONAL DATING VIOLENCE STUDY
Douglas, E. M., & Straus, M. A. (2006). Assault and injury of dating partners by university students
In 19 countries and its relation to corporal punishment experienced as a child. European
journal of criminology, 3(3), 293-318.
Feld, S. L., & Straus, M. A. (1989). Escalation and desistance of wife assault in marriage.
Criminology, 27(1), 141-161.
Hines, Denise A. and Murray A. Straus. 2007. "Binge Drinking and Violence Against Dating
Partners: The Mediating Effect of Antisocial Traits and Behaviors in a Multi-National
Perspective." Aggressive Behavior 33:441-457.
Medeiros, Rose A. and Murray A. Straus. 2006. "Risk factors for physical violence between dating
partners: Implications for gender-inclusive prevention and treatment of family violence. ."
Pp. 59-87 in Family approaches to domestic violence: a practioners guide to genderinclusive research and treatment, edited by J. C. Hamel and T. Nicholls: Springer
(http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2)
Rebellon, Cesar J., Murray A. Straus, and Rose Anne Medeiros. 2008. "Self-control in global
perspective: An Empirical assessment of Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory within and
across 32 national settings." European journal of criminology 5:331-362.
Straus, M. A. & International Dating Violence Research Consortium. (2004). Prevalence of
violence against dating partners by male and female university students worldwide. Violence
Against Women, 10(7), 790-811.
Straus, M. A. (1999). The controversy over domestic violence by women: A methodological,
theoretical, and sociology of science analysis. In X. Ariaga & S. Oskamp (Eds.), Violence in
intimate relationships (pp. 17-44). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Straus, M. A. (2001). Beating the devil out of them: Corporal punishment in American families and
its effects on children, 2nd edition (2nd ed.). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
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Straus, M. A. (2004). Cross-cultural reliability and validity of the revised conflict tactics scales: A study of
university student dating couples in 17 nations. Cross-Cultural Research, 38(4), 407-432.
Straus, M. A. (2009). Gender symmetry in partner violence: Evidence and implications for prevention and
treatment. In D. J. Whitaker & J. R. Lutzker (Eds.), Preventing partner violence: Research and
evidence-based intervention strategies (pp. 245-271). Washington D.C. : American Psychological
Association.
Straus, M. A. (2009). Why the overwhelming evidence on partner physical violence by women has not been
perceived and is often denied. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 18(6), 552-571.
Straus, M. A. (2009). The National context effect: An Empirical test of the validity of Cross-National research
using unrepresentative samples. Cross-Cultural Research, 43(3), 183-205.
Straus, M. A., & Gelles, R. J. (1990). Physical violence in American families: Risk factors and adaptations to
violence in 8,145 families. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press.
Straus, M. A., & Ramirez, I. L. (2004). Criminal history and assaults of dating partners: The role of type of
prior crime, age of onset, and gender. Violence & Victims, 19(4), 413-434.
Straus, M. A., & Ramirez, I. L. (2007). Gender symmetry in prevalence, severity, and chronicity of physical
aggression against dating partners by University students in Mexico and USA. Aggressive Behavior,
33, 1-10.
Straus, M. A., & Savage, S. A. (2005). Neglectful behavior by parents in the life history of university students
in 17 countries and its relation to violence against dating partners. Child Maltreatment, 10(2), 124-135
Straus, M. A., Douglas, E. M., & Medeiros, R. A. (in preparation. The primordial violence: Corporal
punishment by parents, cognitive development, and crime. .
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SELF-DEFENSE REFERENCES
Carrado, M., George, M. J., Loxam, E., Jones, L., & Templar, D. (1996). Aggression in british heterosexual relationships: A
descriptive analysis. Aggressive Behavior, 22, 401-415.
Cascardi, M., & Vivian, D. (1995). Context for specific episodes of marital violence: Gender and severity of violence
differences. Journal of Family Violence, 10, 265-293.
Cascardi, M., & Vivian, D. (1995). Context for specific episodes of marital violence: Gender and severity of violence
differences. Journal of Family Violence, 10, 265-293.
Dekeseredy, W. S., Saunders, D. G., Schwartz, M. D., & Shahid, A. (1997). The meanings and motives for women's use of
violence in Canadian college dating relationships: Results from a national survey. Sociological Spectrum, 17, 199-222.
Felson, R. B., & Messner, S. F. (1998). Disentangling the effects of gender and intimacy on victem precipitation in homicide.
Criminology, 36, 405-423.
Follingstad, D. R., Wright, S., Lloyd, S., & Sebastian, J. A. (1991). Sex differences in motivations and effects in dating
violence. Family Relations, 40, 51-57.
Harned, M. S. (2001). Abused women or abused men? An examination of the context and outcomes of dating violence.
Violence and Victims, 16, 269-285.
Johnson, M. P., & Ferraro, K. J. (2000). Research on domestic violence in the 1990's: Making distinctions. Journal of Marriage
and the Family, 62, 948-963.
Jurik, N. C., & Gregware, P. (1989). A method for murder: An interactinist analysis of homicides by women. School of Justice
Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
Krug, E. G., Dahlberg, L. L., Mercy, J. A., Zwi, A. B., Lozano, R., & World Health Organization. (2002). World report on
violence and health. Geneva: World Health Organization.
Pearson, P. (1997). When she was bad: Women and the myth of innocence. Toronto: Random House.
Pearson, P. (1997). When she was bad: Women and the myth of innocence. Toronto: Random House.
Sarantakos, S. (1998). Husband abuse as self-defence, International Congress of Sociology. Montreal, Canada.
Saunders, D. G. (1986). When battered women use violence: Husband-abuse or self-defense? Violence and Victims, 1, 47-60.
Sommer, R. (1996). Male and female perpetrated partner abuse: Testing a diathesis-stress model. Winnepeg, Manitoba:
University of Manitoba, PhD Dissertation.
Straus, M. A. (2005). Women's violence toward men is a serious social problem. In D. R. Loseke, R. J. Gelles & M. M.
Cavanaugh (Eds.), Current controversies on family violence (2nd ed., pp. 55-77). Newbury Park: Sage Publications.
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NATION ABBREVIATIONS
(for those who download the slides)
AUS Australia; BEL Belgium; BRA Brazil; CAN Canada; CHE
Switzerland; CHN China; DEU Germany; GBR Great Britain;
GRC Greece; GTM Guatemala; HKG ong Kong; HUN
Hungary; IND India; IRN Iran; ISR Israel; JPN Japan; KOR
South Korea; LTU Lithuania; MEX Mexico; MLT Malta; NLD
Netherlands; NZL New Zealand; PRT Portugal; ROU
Romania; RUS Russia; SGP Singapore; SWE Sweden; TWN
Taiwan; TZA Tanzania; USA United States; VEN Venezuela;
ZAF S Africa
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Example of
cause that is
not a mental
health
problem
THE MORE DOMINANCE BY ONE PARTNER, THE HIGHER THE
PROBABILITY OF AN ASSAULT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER
THE DOMINANT PARTNER IS MALE OR FEMALE
Medeiros, R. A., & Straus, M. A. (2006). Risk factors for physical violence between dating partners: Implications
for gender-inclusive prevention and treatment of family violence. . In J. C. Hamel & T. Nicholls (Eds.), Family
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approaches to domestic violence: a practioners guide to gender-inclusive research and treatment (pp. 59-87): 62
Springer (also available at http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2)
IN THREE OF THE FOUR LEVELS OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT, THE HIGHER THE DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS SCORE, THE
Depression HIGHER
F=9.9, p<.001THE RATE OF ASSAULT
Assault
Scale
GDP F=31.2, p<.001
Depression*GDP F=1.3, p=.22
Low
GDP
High GDP
Depressive Symptoms (Quintiles)
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THE HIGHER THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IN A NATION, THE LOWER THE
DOMINANCE OF MEN IN DATING RELATIONSHIPS (29 Nations
Partial r = .-.69
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THE HIGHER THE DRUG ABUSE SCORE OF STUDENTS
IN A NATION, THE HIGHER THE AVERAGE ASSAULT SCORE FOR THAT
NATION
Assault
r=.53
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Drug Abuse
(Mean for students in each nation)
65
THE DRUG ABUSE & ASSAULT LINK IS STRONGER FOR ASSAULTS
BY WOMEN THAN BY MEN, EVEN FEWER WOMEN ABUSE DRUGS
Women
Men
Assault
r=.38
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Drug Abuse
(Mean for students in each nation)
r=.52
66
THE LINK BETWEEN ALCOHOL ABUSE & ASSAULT IS STRONGER FOR
ASSAULTS
Y WOMEN THAN BY
MenMEN, EVEN THOUGH WOMENWomen
HAVE LOWER ALCOHOL
ABUSE
Assault
r=.27
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Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol Abuse
(Mean for students in each nation)
(Mean for students in each nation)
r=.13
67
THE HIGHER THE ALCOHOL ABUSE SCORE OF STUDENTS
IN A NATION, THE LOWER THE AVERAGE ASSAULT SCORE FOR THAT
NATION
Assault
r=.23
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Alcohol Abuse
(Mean for students in each nation)
68
THE LINK BETWEEN BORDERLINE PERSONALITY & ASSAULT IS
STRONGER FOR ASSAULT BY WOMEN THAN BY MEN
Men
Women
Assault
r=.34
r=.66
Borderline Personality Symptoms
(Mean for students in each nation)
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THE LINK BETWEEN POST TRAUMATIC STRESS & ASSAULT IS STRONGER
FOR ASSAULTS BY WOMEN THAN BY MEN
Men
Women
Assault
r=.22
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Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms
(Mean for students in each nation)
r=.59
70
THE COMBINATION OF ALL SEVEN MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS HAS
THE STRONGEST RELATION TO ASSAULTING A DATING PARTNER
161%
increase
Assault
Scale
Risk Factor Index F=38.1, p<.001
Mental Health Risk Factor Index
(Quintiles)
71
THE COMBINATION OF ALL SEVEN MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IS
STRONGLY RELATED TO ASSAULTING A DATING PARTNER BY BOTH MEN
& WOMEN
Assault
Scale
Risk Factor Index F=38.1, p<.001
Gender F=137.9, p<.001
Risk Factor Index*Gender F=2.9, p=.008
Female
Male
Mental Health Risk Factor Index
(Quintiles)
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COMBINATION OF ALL SEVEN MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IS
STRONGLY RELATED TO ASSAULTING A PARTNER AT ALL FOUR LEVELS
OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Assault
Scale
Low GDP
High GDP
Risk Factor Index F=38.1, p<.001
GDP F=10.2, p<.001
Risk Factor Index*GDP F=2.5, p<.001
Mental Health Risk Factor Index
(Quintiles)
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The Average Score For Male Students Is Higher Than The Score Of Female Students
For All Mental Health Problems Except PTS Symptoms (all differences significant)
Depress
-ive
PTS
Antisocial Borderline Symp- Symp- Criminal Alcohol
Drug
Personality Personality
toms
toms
History
Abuse
Abuse
Male
30.5
34.1
30.3
39.9
22.6
36.5
10.7
Femal
23.1
32.9
29.7
41.6
12.2
27.4
6.2
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CAUSES PARTNER VIOLENCE
Mental health problems extremely important
But not the most prevalent cause
A. High level of conflict in families
B. Dominance of one partner,
Especially male dominance
C. Cultural norms tolerating partner
Violence
D. Parental training in violence
E. Violence in the society
D. Mental health problems
Social causes
most prevalent
The focus today-
E. Multiple causes, all interwoven
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