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Intimate partner aggression: what have we learned? Commentary of Archer’s meta-Analysis.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paige Hall Smith, Associate Professor and Director of The Center for Women's Health and Wellness (Creator)
Jacquelyn W. White, Professor (Contributor)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Archer's work (2000) is a meta-analysis of the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS; Straus, 1979) that provides a summary of what has been learned from applications of this instrument, especially with adolescents and young adults in dating rather than long-term relationships. He concluded that more women than men self-report physical aggression toward a partner, although a higher proportion of those injured and receiving medical attention are women. A meta-analysis can be viewed as comprising three stages: primary—the level of the original data in the component studies, secondary—the formal meta-analysis, and tertiary—the level of interpretation of the results. Although the author is not responsible for the flaws in the available studies, he must frame the conclusions within the constraints identified in the primary data because nothing in meta-analysis neutralizes them. We conclude that Archer's work falls short at all three stages. This commentary outlines our concerns regarding (a) the two conflicting viewpoints about intimate partner violence that ground the work; (b) the conceptualization and operational definitions of the constructs of aggression, violence, physical assault, and harm assessment; (c) fundamental and common methodological limitations of the studies included in the meta-analysis that should have tempered interpretation of the findings; and (d) issues of generalizability of the results. We conclude by elaborating a broader context supporting the gendered nature of intimate violence within which the research questions could be profitably studied.

Additional Information

Publication
Psychological Bulletin, 126 (5): 690-696
Language: English
Date: 2000
Keywords
Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), Archer’s meta-Analysis, Intimate partner aggression