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Cohabiting and Marital Aggression: The Role of Social Isolation

Jan E. Stets
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Aug., 1991), pp. 669-680
DOI: 10.2307/352742
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352742
Page Count: 12
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Cohabiting and Marital Aggression: The Role of Social Isolation
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Abstract

Research has consistently found that physical aggression is more common among cohabiting couples compared with married couples. The present study examines this difference, using data from the National Survey of Families and Households to test the speculation that cohabitors are more likely to be socially isolated than married persons. This isolation may lift restraints on being aggressive, either because of the lack of social support or lack of social control. The results show that is the lack of social control in certain social relations that is important. These factors, together with particular demographic characteristics, help to explain the greater aggression of cohabitors in comparison with married persons.

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