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Journal Article

Religious Involvement and Spousal Violence: The Canadian Case

Merlin B. Brinkerhoff, Elaine Grandin and Eugen Lupri
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 31, No. 1 (Mar., 1992), pp. 15-31
DOI: 10.2307/1386829
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1386829
Page Count: 17
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Religious Involvement and Spousal Violence: The Canadian Case
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Abstract

This research examined the influence of religious denomination and church attendance on spousal violence, as measured by the Conflict Tactics Scales (Straus 1979). The data came from a representative national probability sample of the Canadian ever-married or cohabiting population, 18 years or older. Religious denomination was not found to be significantly related to spousal abuse. Also, the "religious patriarchy" thesis was not supported: Conservative Christian men do not abuse their partners significantly more often than do affiliates of other denominations, but Conservative Christian women appear to do so. Also, the relationship between church attendance, as an indicator of religious commitment, and spousal violence was weak and curvilinear. These results provided modest support for the Allport and Ross (1967) intrinsic-extrinsic conceptualization. Spousal violence was also examined in conjunction with sociodemographic and spousal interaction factors. When three multivariate models were applied, it was found that religion had little, if any, relationship to spousal abuse. Other variables, mainly spousal interaction factors, were found to be the best overall predictors of such physical abuse.

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