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 Male and Female Perpetrated Partner Abuse

 

Table of Contents

 

Chapter 1

 

Chapter 2 Part 1

 

Chapter 2 Part 2

 

Chapter 2 Part 3

 

Chapter  3 Part 1

 

Chapter 3 Part 2

 

Chapter 3 Part 3

 

Chapter 3 Part 4

 

Chapter 4

 

Chapter 5 Part 1

 

Chapter 5 Part 2

 

Chapter 5 Part 3

 

Chapter 5 Part 4

 

Chapter 5 Part 5

 

Chapter 5 Part 6

 

Chapter 6 Part 1

 

Chapter 6 Part 2

 

Appendix A

 

Appendix B

 

Appendix C

 

References

Male and Female Perpetrated Partner Abuse: Testing a Diathesis-Stress Model 

by Reena Sommer

Chapter 5, Part 2

CHAPTER FIVE (part 2)

Descriptive Analyses

 

Wave 2 Demographic Characteristics

After taking into account the attrition experienced by Wave 2 data, the final sample of respondents who were married, cohabiting or remarried was found to consist of 369 males and 368 females (n=737). The demographic characteristics of this subsample drawn from the WHADS dataset are outlined below.  Table 10 provides a complete summary of Wave 2 male and female demographic data.

Age

The mean age for male and female respondents was 47.08 years (SD. = 11.76, range 22-67) and 44.10 years (SD. = 12.03, range 21-68), respectively.  Frequency data for Wave 2 indicate a shift in the proportion of female respondents found in each age group.  For example, the proportion of respondents found in the 18- 34 year age group increased (33.4%) whereas the proportion of respondents found in the 50+ age group decreased (29.1%).

Marital status

Wave 2 data included an additional response category for this variable (cohabiters).  The distribution of Wave 2 respondents was  found to be predominantly married (90.5% of males and 91.6% of females) followed by males and females who cohabited with a partner (7.3% and 6.3%, respectively).  Only 2.2 percent of males and females were found to be remarried.

Educational status

Wave 2 analyses conducted on six levels of educational attainment indicated that 56.9 percent of males and 51.1 percent of females achieved educational status beyond receipt of a high school diploma. Wave 1 data indicated a similar distribution pattern for males (53.5%) and females (49.6%).

Current employment status

Results of Wave 2 data on current employment status are consistent with those found in Wave 1 for male respondents who were employed (84.4% in Wave 1 v. 79.4% in Wave 2) but not for females who were employed (62% in Wave 1 v. 40.2% in Wave 2).  The category that experienced a fivefold increase during Wave 2 is that of "student" for male respondents (.4% v. 2.2%).

Income

Total family income was distributed across five broadly based categories. Wave 2 results indicated that among male respondents, 56.2 percent reported a combined family income greater than $50,000 per year.  The same category was represented by only 42.2 percent of female respondents.  Compared to Wave 1 data, both males and females report higher total family incomes in Wave 2.  For example, Wave 2 reports of those earning combined family incomes of $50,000 or more  annually increased from 43.8 percent in Wave 1 to 56.2 percent in Wave 2 for males and from 35.6 percent in Wave 1 to 42.2 percent in  Wave 2 for females.

Religious preference

The distribution of religious preference categories for both male and female respondents remained virtually unchanged from those reported  in Wave 1 of this project.  The largest religious preference category indicated by respondents was Protestant (44.0% of males and 44.3% of females), followed by Catholic (25.8% for males and 31.0% of females).  Combined, these represented 69.8 percent (males) and 75.3 percent (females) of all response categories.

Race

As described above, the distribution of Wave 1 and Wave 2 data with respect to racial groups remained unchanged for both males and females. Descriptive analyses conducted on Wave 2 data indicated that 95.7 percent of males (v. 93.3% reported in Wave 1) and 94.0 percent of females (v. 92.3% in Wave 1) reported being white.

Table 10. Demographic characteristics of married, cohabiting and remarried males and females from Wave 2

Category Males Females
N % N %
Mean Age 47.08 years 44.10 years
Age Groups
  18-34 years 92 24.9 123 33.4
  35-49 years 129 35.0 138 37.5
  50 years + 148 40.1 107 29.1
  Total 369 100.0 368 100.0
Marital Status
  Married 334 90.5 337 91.6
  Living with partner 27 7.3 23 6.3
  Remarried/previously divorced 8 02.2 8 02.2
Total* 369 100.0 368 100.0
Educational Status
  Grade School 10 2.7 10 2.7
  Some High School 75 20.3 71 19.3
  Completed High School 74 20.1 99 26.9
  Some college or technical diploma 90 24.4 93 25.3
  University Graduate 70 19.0 68 18.5
  Post Graduate Education 50 13.6 27 07.3
Total 369 100.0 368 100.0
Current Employment Status
  Working full time 294 79.4 148 40.2
  Working part time 6 01.6 82 22.3
  Unemployed, but looking 6 01.6 11 03.0
  Student 8 02.2 6 01.6
  Homemaker --- --- 85 23.1
  Retired 45 12.2 26 07.1
  Other 10 02.7 10 02.7
Total 369 100.0 368 100.0
Income
  <$10,000/Yr. 5 01.4 2 0.6
  $10,000-$20,000/Yr. 10 02.8 24 06.9
  $20,000-$35,000/Yr. 58 16.0 73 21.1
  $35,000-$50,000/Yr. 86 23.7 101 29.2
  >$50,000/Yr. 204 56.2 146 42.2
  Total* 363 100.0 343 100.0
Religious Preference
  Catholic 95 25.8 114 31.0
  Protestant 162 44.0 163 44.3
  Jewish 13 03.5 14 03.8
  Other 34 09.2 37 10.1
  No religious preference 64 17.4 40 10.9
  Total* 368 100.0 368 100.0
Race
  White 353 95.7 346 94.0
  Non-white 16 04.3 22 6.0
Total 369 100.0 368 100.0

* Note: Not all totals will equal 369 or 368 (100%) due to missing data and rounding.

Rates of Perpetrated Partner Abuse

Prevalence of perpetrated partner abuse

Descriptive analyses conducted on the entire sample of Wave 2 married, cohabiting and remarried respondents indicated that 17.3 percent of males (n=64, Range 6-22, SD. 1.50) and 27.4 percent of females (n=100, Range 6-17, SD. 1.47) reported perpetrating at least one episode of partner abuse at some point during their relationship with a current partner (p < .001).  The most common form of partner abuse tactic reported for both males and females was throwing or smashing something (but not at partner) (11.1% and 14.2%, respectively).  Table 11 summarizes an item analysis of the CTS for the prevalence of perpetrated partner abuse by males and females in Wave 2.

Table 11. Wave 2 perpetrated partner abuse prevalence rates by married, cohabiting and remarried males and females

Type of Violence % Males % Females Chi-Square
Minor Violence Acts
  Threw or smashed something (but not at partner) 11.1 14.2 4.18    
  Threatened to throw something 4.4 9.9 11.64  *
  Threw something at partner 3.3 8.8 8.58 **
  Pushed, shoved or grabbed 6.8 11.8 7.70    
Severe Violence Acts
  Hit partner 3.3 8.2 10.60 **
  Hit partner with something hard .3 2.2 5.71    
Violence Indexes
  Minor Violence Index 16.5 26.0 21.88 **
  Severe Violence Index 3.3 9.0 14.41 **
  Overall Abuse Index 17.3 27.4 10.69 ***

Note: * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001
        For males:   overall scale means = 6.43, SD. = 1.50, range = 6-22
        For females: overall scale means = 6.66, SD. = 1.47, range = 6-17

The following are the abuse tactics found to differ significantly by gender: 1) threatened to throw something (chi-square = 11.64, p < .05) , 2) threw something at partner (chi-square = 8.58, p < .01), 3), and hit partner (chi-square = 10.60, p < .01).  In each case, a greater proportion of females was found to engage in the perpetration of partner abuse tactics.

Comparison of Wave 1 and Wave 2 prevalence rates of perpetrated partner abuse

To facilitate an objective comparison of Wave 1 and Wave 2 prevalence rates for perpetrated partner abuse, frequency analyses were repeated on both waves of data based on the same sample.  These analyses provided similar results to those just reported, and indicated that 17.5 percent of males and 27.6 percent of females perpetrated at least one episode of partner abuse during the course of their relationship with a current partner.  Compared to the prevalence rates of perpetrated partner abuse reported during Wave 1, Wave 2 data experienced a 35.01 percent reduction in abuse reporting by males and a 29.01 percent reduction in abuse reporting by females.

Post hoc analyses found that 18.4 percent of the males (n=52) and 25 percent of the females (n=63) who reported "abuse" in Wave 1, reported "no abuse" in Wave 2.  Furthermore, in order to test the possibility that respondents' denial of partner abuse may have been in response to social pressure,  correlations were conducted on Wave 2 CTS and the EPQL scores.  Results indicated a significant negative correlation for female respondents (r=-.12, p < .05) whereby individuals who scored high on the EPQL (indicating a tendency for dissimulation) also scored low on the CTS.

Recency of perpetrated partner abuse

In order to examine the recency of perpetrated partner abuse, married, cohabiting and remarried respondents were asked to indicate the last time they perpetrated any of the six partner abuse items against their current partner.  On average, the last episode of perpetrated abuse occurred 5.99 years ago for males (range 1-30, SD. 8.10) and 7.33 years ago for females (range 1-36, SD. 8.22).  Of  those reporting perpetrating partner abuse at some time, 56.5 percent of males and 35.7 percent of females indicated that their most recent episode of perpetrated partner abuse happened within the past two years.

Incidence of perpetrated partner abuse

Frequency analyses indicated that 41.9 percent of males (n=26) and 25.5 percent of females (n=24) who had previously reported perpetrating partner abuse also acknowledged perpetrating partner abuse during the past year.  This represents 7.1 percent and 6.6 percent of all married, cohabiting and remarried males and females participating in this survey. On average, partner abusing males reported 3.08 incidents of abuse (range 1-11, SD. 2.85) during the past year, while partner abusing females reported 3.91 incidents of abuse (range 1-20, SD. 3.92) during that same time period.

Chi-square analyses were conducted on individual partner abuse items as well as on the total partner abuse perpetrated during the past year.  Results indicated only one significant sex difference (i.e., males "threw or smashed something" more often than females).
     This item was also found to be the most common partner abuse tactic reported by males (5.7%).  "Pushing, shoving or grabbing" was found   to be the most common partner abuse tactic among females (3.8%).
     Table 12 provides a summary of these analyses.

Table 12. Partner abuse perpetrated during the past year by gender

Variable Number of Occurrences % Abuse Chi-Square
  M F M

F

 
1. Threw or smashed something (not at partner) 21 7 5.7 1.9 7.20 **
2. Threatened to throw something (not at partner) 7 12 1.9 2.6 1.41  
3. Threw something at partner 5 4 1.4 1.1 0.11  
4. Pushed, shoved or grabbed partner 12 14 3.3 3.8 0.17  
5. Hit partner 6 9 1.6 2.5 0.63  
6. Hit partner with something hard 1 3 0.3 0.8 1.02  
Total Abuse 26 24 7.1 6.6 0.07  

Note: ** p < .01

Perpetrated Partner Abuse and Related Characteristics

Demographic characteristics

In order to assess the bivariate relationships between current partner abuse (i.e., abuse occurring during the past year) and the demographic measures included in Wave 2 of this research, analysis of variance and chi-squares were performed on these variables.

The mean number of partner abuse incidents perpetrated during the past year was found to be significantly greater for males who cohabited and who were unemployed, nonwhite and earned less than $20,000 per year.  Males who were 50 years old and over, reported significantly fewer partner abuse incidents during that same time.
     For females, the age group of 18 and 34 years was associated with significantly more partner abuse incidents perpetrated during the past year.

Chi-square analyses indicated the following:  Significantly more males who had perpetrated partner abuse during the past year were found to be unemployed (50%), earned less than $20,000 per year (26.67%) , and belonged to the religious preference category "other" (17.65%).  Significantly fewer of these same males were also found to be 50 years and over (2.03%) and married (5.09%). Significantly more females who had perpetrated partner abuse during the past year were between the ages of 18 and 35 (11.4%), cohabited (27.3%), and had some high school education (14.1%).  Tables 13 and 14 summarize the results of these bivariate relationships for males and females, respectively.

Table 13. Incidence of perpetrated partner abuse during the past year by demographics for male respondents

Variable N Mean # of Abuse Incidents F   %Abuse Chi-Square  
Age Groups
  18-34 yrs. 92 .36 3.60 * 11.96 10.08 **
  35-49 yrs. 129 .33   9.30  
  50 yrs. + 148 .04   2.03  
  Marital Status    
  Married 334 .14 10.40 *** 5.09 22.77 ***
  Cohabiting 27 1.07   22.23  
  Remarried 8 .63   37.50  
  Educational Status    
  Grade school 10 .33 0.47   16.67 4.54  
  Some high school 75 .29   9.33  
  High diploma 74 .07   2.70  
  Some college or tech 90 .26   8.89  
  College degree 70 .31   7.14  
  Post grad 50 .17   14.24  
Current Employment
  Employed 300 .21 4.46 *** 7.00 15.05 ***
  Unemployed 6 2.33   50.00  
  Annual Income    
  <$20,000/yr 15 1.00 3.04 * 26.67 12.18 ***
  $20-35,000/yr 58 .31   10.34  
  $35-50,000/yr 86 .15   6.98  
  >$50,000/yr 204 .16   4.41  
Religious Preference
  Catholic 95 .17 1.44   3.16 12.01 *
  Protestant 162 .19   4.94  
  Jewish 13 .08   7.69  
  Other 34 .32   17.65  
  No religious preference 64 .47   12.50  
Race
  White 353 .19 4.08 * 6.80 .76  
  Nonwhite 16 .75   12.50  

Note: * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001

Table 14. Incidence of perpetrated partner abuse during the past year by demographics for female respondents

Variable N Mean # of Abuse Incidents F   % Abuse Chi-Square
Age Groups
  18-34 yrs. 123 .54 3.84 * 11.4 7.10 *
35-49 yrs. 137 .10 3.6
50 yrs. + 105 .13 4.8
Marital Status
Married 335 .23 0.65 5.1 7.03 ***
Cohabiting 22 .55 27.3
Remarried 8 .50 12.5
Educational Status
Grade school 10 .00 0.98 0.0 13.48 *
Some high school 71 .39 14.1
High school diploma 99 .31 9.1
Some college or tech 92 .04 2.2
College degree 66 .47 4.5
Post grad 27 .00 0.0
Current Employment
Employed 228 .34 0.46 8.3 1.00
Unemployed 11 .00 0.0
Annual Income
<$20,000/yr 25 .12 0.46 4.0 4.77
$20-35,000/yr 73 .41 12.3
$35-50,000/yr 99 .18 5.1
>$50,000/yr 146 .27 5.5
Religious Preference
Catholic 114 .23 0.81 7.9 4.45
Protestant 162 .36 8.0
Jewish 14 .50 7.1
Other 37 .00 0.0
No religious preference 38 .08 2.6
Race
White 343 .25 0.14 6.7 0.16
Nonwhite 22 .36 4.6

Note: * p < .05, *** p < .001

Next: Chapter 5 Part 3

___________
Updates:
2001 02 10 (format changes)
2003 10 01 (format changes)