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Acts of Psychological Aggression against a Partner and Their Relation to Physical Assault and Gender

Sherry L. Hamby and David B. Sugarman
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 61, No. 4 (Nov., 1999), pp. 959-970
DOI: 10.2307/354016
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/354016
Page Count: 12
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Acts of Psychological Aggression against a Partner and Their Relation to Physical Assault and Gender
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Abstract

The overall positive association between psychological aggression and physical assault is well known. We used an item analysis to assess whether specific acts of psychological aggression are more closely associated with physical assault than others. Male and female undergraduates (n = 374) completed an early version of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales about a courtship relationship. Results indicated that all psychological items were associated with physical assault for both men and women. Only certain items reflecting malicious intent, such as destroying the property of one's partner, threatening to hit one's partner, and some name calling, discriminated between the presence of minor and severe violence. Some associations were stronger for males than for females, indicating that males may be more likely to engage in multiple forms of aggression. These findings have implications for defining a battering syndrome.

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