Official Incidents of Domestic Violence: Types, Injury, and Associations with Nonofficial Couple Aggression

By Capaldi, Deborah M.; Shortt, Joann Wu et al. | Violence and Victims, July 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Official Incidents of Domestic Violence: Types, Injury, and Associations with Nonofficial Couple Aggression


Capaldi, Deborah M., Shortt, Joann Wu, Kim, Hyoun K., Wilson, Jane, Crosby, Lynn, Tucci, Shivan, Violence and Victims


Official police reports of intimate partner violence (IPV) were examined in a community sample of young, at-risk couples to determine the degree of mutuality and the relation between IPV arrests and aggression toward a partner (self-reported, partner reported, and observed). Arrests were predominantly of the men. Men were more likely to initiate physical contact, use physical force, and inflict injuries than women, although few injuries required medical attention. In the context of nonofficial aggression toward a partner, overall, women had higher levels of physical and psychological aggression compared to men, and levels of severe physical aggression did not differ by gender. Couples with an IPV arrest were more aggressive toward each other than couples with no IPV arrests; however, nonofficial levels of aggression were not higher for men than for women among couples experiencing an IPV incident.

Keywords: aggression; arrests; domestic violence; injury; police reports

There is substantial evidence from survey studies in the United States that as many or more women engage in some degree of violence toward a romantic partner as do men (e.g., for a meta-analysis, see Archer, 2000; Williams & Frieze, 2005). However, there is still controversy regarding this issue because women are more likely than men to be victims in domestic violence arrests (e.g., Melton & Belknap, 2003) and in crime surveys (e.g., Rennison, 2003). For example, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey, married/cohabiting women self-reported higher rates of victimization in physical assault in the previous 12 months and lifetime compared to the men surveyed (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). Despite such growing interest, understanding engagement of men and women in the perpetration of violence and their relative levels of violence in terms of severity and injury, as well as the degree of mutuality of violence in couples, is still limited.

Johnson (1995) posits that there are two distinct types of intimate partner violence (IPV): one involving patriarchal or intimate terrorism, hypothesized to be of high frequency and severe and one sided, with men usually as perpetrators, and the second involving the majority of couples and lower levels of violence, or "common couple violence," which is of low frequency, much less severe, perpetrated by men and women, and much less likely to result in injuries. The two types of violence are construed to be based on different motivations and interpersonal dynamics (Johnson, 1995). The evidence for such a distinct typology as well as the conceptual underpinnings have been questioned (Capaldi, Kim, & Shortt, 2007). Despite controversies, most experts would expect that arrests for IPV would involve a higher prevalence of men inflicting serious violence and more serious injuries than commonly found in survey studies (Duncan, Stayton, & Hall, 1999; Straus, 1997) for a variety of reasons, including possibly more severe violence by men (Johnson, 1995), men's greater size and weight (Felson, 1996), and arrest policies.

Critical information that could inform prevention and treatment programs is whether such arrests occur among couples that show a predominant pattern of one-sided violence or whether mutual violence seems more typical of such couples. Although arrests are a strong and objective measure of domestic violence, each arrest represents just one occasion of violence for that couple. For crime, in general, it is well known that arrests represent just the "tip of the iceberg" of actual crime. For example, in the case of youth delinquency, the ratio of police contacts to self-reported offenses has been estimated at around 3:100 to 10:100 (Elliott & Voss, 1974; Gold, 1966), and self-report measures and official records are considered to provide two alternative views on offending behavior (Farrington et al., 2003) that are related to different empirical findings but considered critical for understanding the phenomenon.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Official Incidents of Domestic Violence: Types, Injury, and Associations with Nonofficial Couple Aggression
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.