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Causes and Effects of Domestic Violence

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Introduction

Domestic violence is a problem, which affects all members of the family and causes malfunction behavior. In the previous decades, many researches had been done in the sphere of gender victimization and the effects of domestic violence and abuse on children. Less attention had been given to the causes of domestic violence and cross-violent studies, regarding the topic whether violence causes violence. In this paper, the focus of the research is on the analysis of domestic violence in the families. The research focuses on discovering the reasons people proceed to violent behavior at their homes and on the reasons some people return to abusive relationships. In addition, it discovers the effects domestic violence produces on adults and children. Basing the research on the analysis of quantitative data from such psychological databases as Journal of Interpersonal Violence and Journal of Social Work, the statistical approaches used in the study are interpreted and critiqued. Own approach of studying the issue of domestic violence is suggested.

Methods

In their research, Polltz-Worden and Carlson (2005) write that “the past two decades have witnessed significant developments in scientific knowledge about the causes of domestic violence (DV) and dramatic shifts in law and policy directed at this social problem” (1219). The researchers aimed at finding the attitudes and opinions about the causes of domestic violence. Their report presented a public opinion survey, which they have established by the telephone interview of 1200 people in the State of New York.

Polltz-Worden and Carlson (2005) had established a random sample of New York residents, which were selected by urbanization criteria and the character of the regulations and practices of local domestic violence system of criminal justice, in order to identify the level of their tolerance of domestic violence. The sample contained an equal number of male and female respondents, 50% of them were married. Regarding the racial segregation, 80% of the interviewees claimed to be White. The educational factor had reached 33% of college graduates. The researchers asked questions regarding direct or secondary experiences of domestic violence (1224).

The researchers used open- and close-ended questions survey, which aimed at defining the causes of domestic violence. The researchers coded 6 responses to open-ended and 10 statements of describing direct and indirect domestic violence. The article provides two tables of perceptions of causes of domestic violence for open-ended questions and perceptions of causes of domestic violence for close-ended, indicating the percentage of affecting factors.

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Øverlien (2010) provides a study, which discusses such a relatively new topic of research as the affect of domestic violence on children, claiming that previous researchers had focused on women as victims and men as persecutors. The author had analyzed the quantitative research articles from: Psychinfo, sociological abstracts, Pubmed, Social Science Citation Index, and National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect in order to identify the effect of domestic violence on children (81).

Gender differences between the arrested persecutors of domestic violence had been identified by Hamilton and Worthen (2011). The authors clarify that introducing the shift of gender roles in modern society, the sex disparities in arrest outcomes of domestic violence had drastically changed. The researchers used the results of quantitative dataset of police officers’ reports, which included a mandated list after they had proceeded to a domestically violent situation. In their research, the authors include the table of characteristics of male and female suspects and arrestees in a domestic abuse incident against an intimate partner, checking legal, among which are found witness present, injuries, weaponry, etc. and extralegal variable that include racial aspects, social status, assault, alcohol or drug abuse, hostility, etc. They also include logistic regression results predicting arrests in domestic abuse incidents in intimate partner, providing the results for all suspects, male and female, separately.

Criticizing the study by Hamilton and Worthen (2011), one has to take into consideration that the reports were filled in by different officers, which interferes with the accuracy of the opinions and results in general. In addition, the officers were not presented with the language specific glossary to identify the actions of the prosecutors. Nevertheless, the researchers had provided the classification of the elements, which were included in the research.

Results

The research by Pollitz-Worden and Carlson (2005) indicates that 35% of female respondents and 26% of male respondents reported violence towards self, and almost 20% confessed usage of violence towards their partner (1127). The researchers indicate their findings regarding the causes of domestic violence using open- and close-ended responses. Based on the nine categories in the open-ended response table, the causes of using domestic violence were: “work-related or financial stress (37%), substance abuse (30%), anger and loss of control (28%), relationship problems (20%), early exposure to family violence (17%), adultery or jealousy (15%), and perpetrators’ mental health problems (14%)” (1227). The close-ended reponces had indicated such beliefs causing violence: nature’s physical violence, beliefs about cause and effect factors, attribution of violence to women’s motives or behavior and reaction to a stressful situation as an excuse (1228). Pollitz-Worden & Carlson (2005) depict that violent behavior in unlikely to change over time, yet will only aggravate the circumstances. Also, they concluded that the personality predispositions correlate with violence, especially with men.

Øverlien (2010) examines the exposure of children to domestic violence. The author indicates the limitedness of the studies due to the lack of evidence collected by the other researchers, who indicate only one side of the coin that there had been “found substantial support for the negative emotional and behavioral consequences that children exposed to domestic violence suffer”, and suggests further qualitative research as well (80).

Hamilton and Worthen (2011) had indentified that the men are more likely to be arrested for domestic violence crimes (76%), then women (66%) (1572). In addition, the study indicated that legal and extralegal elements affect the decision of an officer to arrest a prosecutor of domestic violence depending on sex. The researchers had also identified that the arrest of men and protection of women had made a freedom impact on women domestic assault as well (6 times more likely to be arrested) (1572).

Discussion

Domestic violence is a widely spread social issue, which affects as victims children, women, and men of all religious, racial, ethnical, financial, and social classes. There is nothing dearer and more important to every person than having support and understanding of a loving family. However, some families proceed into a turbulent and unstable path of psychological misbalance in domestic violence. Bullock and Cubet (2002) write that domestic violence may include isolation, jealousy, physical abuse, possessiveness, threats as coercive method, economic deprivation, threats to the members in the family, and economic deprivation (457). The reason for this was stated by Gelles and Straus (Bullock, C. F. & Cubet, J 2002), who claim that the modern society does not deny, or object domestic violence, but also even encourages such behavior (457). The numbers of domestic violence victims are growing exponentially, requiring the researchers identify and illuminate the main cause of the trouble.

Pollitz-Worden and Carlson (2005) had tried to correlate the causes and effects of domestic violence by analyzing the interviews of a random sample on the phone. Even though they identified the group, the sample is only for one State, thus cannot be generalized. In addition, the telephone interviews do not provide enough information regarding specific instances of domestic violence. First, the definition of domestic violence might be perceived differently by each individual, and some information might be hidden by the respondent or misperceived by the researcher. The qualitative research or case study might be a better solution for a research on this topic.

Øverlien (2010) has discovered the domestic violence impact on children is greater than the scientist could have imagined. She also suggests the development of new policies, which limit the exposure and communication with violent elements. The research by Øverlien (2010) presents a great collection of evidence in response to a new research topic. Nevertheless, Øverlien (2010) had synthesized a too broad number of variables, which interpose between each other. In this case, the findings seem to be irrelevant due to the overwhelming number of effects for each element. Another better way for discovering the effect of domestic violence would be a longitudinal case study, or an empirical approach parent-child survey.

Hamilton and Worthen (2011) had been analyzing the checklists of the police officers, who had been arresting the prosecutors of domestic violence. Their main argument is men are more likely to perform violent acts towards the peers; nevertheless, women also perform domestic assault with exponential growth. Criticizing the study by Hamilton and Worthen (2011), one has to take into consideration that the reports were filled in by different officers, which interferes with the accuracy of the opinions and results in general. In addition, the officers were not presented with the language specific glossary to identify the actions of the prosecutors. Nevertheless, the researchers had provided the classification of the elements, which were included in the research. Thus, an additional qualitative research would be a very helpful compulsion for the results.

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