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Week 11 Reading Notes on Partner Violence

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PSYC 362
Kim Bartholomew

1 Established and Emerging Perspectives on Violence in Intimate Relationships by Bartholomew, Cobb, & Dutton The article discusses… - Feminist perspectives - Psychological perspectives - Interactional perspectives o Dyadic perspectives – focus on how partner abuse arises from the interaction of both partners’ characteristics and how this interaction unfolds over time o Situational perspectives – focus on the specific situational contexts in which episodes of abuse arise, including consideration of factors that inhibit and disinhibit aggression toward and intimate partner - Multi-factor models that integrate multiple perspectives on partner violence Feminist Perspectives – focus on the patriarchal system in which violence against women occurs, conceptualizing PV as a means by which maintain domination over women - Reflected in traditional gender attitudes and roles that affirm the dominance of men over women in a range of social institutions - Men are socialized to believe they have the right to assert control over their female partners, and that violence is an acceptable way of asserting control - Guided by the assumption that PV is primarily gender-based sociological problem, rather than a psychological or relationship problem - PV viewed as men’s abuse of women to maintain and enforce women’s subjugation - Male violence against women is actually more likely when men lack equal power in their intimate relationships o PV as an ineffective means of trying to compensate for a perceived lack of equal relationship influence Psychological perspectives – focus on background and personality factors that put some individuals at risk for becoming violent toward their intimate partners - Individuals who observe or experience violence in their families of origin are at increased risk for future PV - PV is associated with more accepting attitudes regarding violence in close relationships and with poor communication and problem-solving skills - PV is associated with individual-difference variables indicative of emotional vulnerability and reactivity, especially in the context of close relationships o Established dispositional correlates – low self-esteem, interpersonal dependency, anxious attachment, aggressive tendencies, and hostile attribution biases Dyadic Perspectives – based on the premise that relationships arise from the interaction of enduring characteristics of both partners and how these interactions unfold over time - Both partners in relationships with PV tend to be dissatisfied - Intrapersonal indicators of relational insecurity and distrust are also associated with PV - PV was most common in couples in which one partner reported high attachment anxiety and the other reported high attachment avoidance - Individuals tend to select romantic partners who share risk factors of PV, and then the two partners mutually reinforce each other’s aggressive tendencies - Couples identified for male violence are distinguished by high levels of hostility by both partners and by high reciprocity of negative affect such as anger, criticism, contempt, and belligerence 2 - PV is most likely to occur when (1) both members of the couple bring vulnerabilities for aggression to their relationship, (2) the relationships becomes conflictual and distressed, and (3) the partners reciprocate hostile behavior leading to escalation Situational Perspectives – focus on the contextual and interactional factors that affect the chances of partners acting violently towards one another - Basic assumption is that PV must address the specific situations in which PV is enacted - Unit of analysis becomes specific episodes of violence, including events and conditions that lead up to the incidents, the interpersonal process culminating in violence, and the outcomes off violent episodes - Traits indicating vulnerability to interpersonal provocation, such as emotional sensitivity and impulsivity, predict aggression only un
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