Women’s aggression in heterosexual conflicts

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacquelyn W. White, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Using a longitudinal design, prior experience with violence as a victim and opportunity to aggress were examined as predictors of college women's verbal and physical aggression toward romantic partners. Five additional categories of predictors identified in previous research (experienced and witnessed parental aggression during childhood, attitudes accepting of aggression, aggressive/impulsive personality attributes, psychopathology, and prior use of aggression) were also examined. Blockwise hierarchical regression analyses were performed to reveal the best predictors of verbal aggression were prior use of verbal aggression in heterosexual conflicts during adolescence, witnessed parental aggression, level of adolescent sexual victimization, being a target of rational conflict strategies during adolescence and use of physical aggression in romantic adolescent relationships, as well as self-reported verbal aggression as an index of personality, weak emotional ties, number of sexual partners, and approval of sexual intimacy in many types of relationships. Significant predictors of physical aggression were prior use of physical aggression during adolescence, witnessing and experiencing parental aggression, being a victim of physical aggression in adolescent romantic relationships, weak emotional ties, low levels of alcohol/drug use, and opportunity to aggress. A developmental model of aggression in which childhood experiences with family violence contribute to the likelihood of subsequent involvement in relationship violence seems appropriate. Past experience with aggression may be particularly important for women. Cultural expectations about women's roles do not provide the social support for female aggression that is provided for male aggression. Adolescent sexual victimizations and general involvement in conflictual relationships (as target and perpetrator) predicted subsequent verbal aggression, whereas experiencing family violence and sustaining physical aggression in romantic relationships predicted subsequent physical aggression.

Additional Information

Aggressive Behavior, 20(3), 195-202
Language: English
Date: 1994
women's aggression, courtship violence, heterosexual conflict, family violence

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