ERIC Number: ED313652
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Jan-27
Reference Count: N/A
Social Psychological Characteristics Associated with Verbal Aggression between Husbands and Wives.
Straus, Murray A.; Sweet, Stephen
The last decade has provided considerable research on the causes and effects of physical aggression in the family, but much less has been accomplished on the causes and effects of verbal/symbolic aggression. This verbal/symbolic aggression is defined as a communication, either verbal or nonverbal, intended to cause psychological pain to another person, or perceived as having that intent. This study investigated the frequency and correlates of verbal/symbolic aggression in a nationally representative sample of 5,232 American families. Verbal/symbolic aggression was measured by the Conflict Tactics Scales. Regardless of whether male or female respondents were the source of the data, it was found that husbands and wives engaged in about equal amounts of aggression. The probability of frequent verbal/symbolic aggression against a spouse tended to decrease with age and the number of children in the family, and to increase with the occurrence of alcohol abuse and the use of other drugs. Socioeconomic status and race were not found to be related to verbal aggression. Verbal aggression is part of a syndrome of abusive and problematic interpersonal relationships within the family. (A list of 45 references is provided, and 3 figures and 2 tables are also included.) (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: New Hampshire Univ., Durham. Family Research Lab.