Alt Title

Gender differences in the prediction of marital violence

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cappell, Charles

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


Family violence--Social aspects; Husband and wife; Wife abuse--Social aspects; Husband abuse--Social aspects; Sex differences (Psychology)


The present study attempts to identify social risk factors associated with marital violence. The focus is twofold: (1) to find gender differences in perpetration of spousal violence, and (2) to explain spousal violence by taking into account the gender of the person who reports the violent incidents. Accordingly, four models are tested: (1) husband-to-wife violence model based on male respondent data; (2) husband-to-wife violence model based on female respondent data; (3) wife-to-husband violence model based on male respondent data; and (4) wife-to-husband violence model based on female respondent data. Results from logistic regression applied to the 1976 National Family Violence Survey show that men and women are involved in marital assault as perpetrators influenced manly by the same set of risk factors: low family economic resources, marital interaction characterized by conflict and discord, and work-related problems and stress. These are robust factors that significantly influence violence regardless of the respondent?s gender. Drinking is a significant marker for wifeto- husband violence, but it is not significant across the two husband-to-wife violence models. There is evidence that explaining marital violence depends on the gender of the person who reports the incidents. However, there are more consistent/robust factors across the four models in terms of their influence and signs than factors that differentiate among models. The results support some of the previous findings from family violence research.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [106]-112).


viii, 145 pages




Northern Illinois University

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