Academic journal article Violence and Victims

Editorial

Academic journal article Violence and Victims

Editorial

Article excerpt

The second issue of Violence and Victims contains some important contributions to the literature on interpersonal violence. The first article by Gary Jensen and David Brownfield examines the relationship between gender, delinquent behavior, and victimization within the context of a routine activities model. Similar to conclusions drawn by Simon Singer in his study, "Victims of Serious Violence and Their Criminal Behavior" (Vol. 1, No. 1), Jensen and Brownfield note the overlap between offender behavior and victimization, and suggest that etiological variables are likely to be victimological variables as well. The authors warn of potential problems with conceptualizations based on an artificial dichotomy between victims and offenders, and discuss limitations of existing routine activity opportunity models as they have been applied to the understanding of criminal victimization.

Examining the process of decision-making in cases of suspected child maltreatment, Jane Snyder and Eli Newberger report the results of a study comparing consensus in seriousness ratings across five groups of hospital-based professionals: physicians (nonpsychiatrists), nurses, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Snyder and Newberger conducted factor analyses on ratings by pediatric professionals that yielded five categories of maltreatment. Although professional groups tend to agree on the rank ordering of categories, they differ by discipline in their ratings of seriousness. Snyder and Newberger discuss these differences in light of training and work roles, and suggest directions for the extension of this research to examine behavioral, as well as perceptual, differences in how child abuse cases are assessed.

In an analysis of data from a nationally representative sample of intact couples, Diane Coleman and Murray Straus address the question of a relationship between power structure in marriage, power norm consensus, and the incidence of conflict and violence between partners. Coleman and Straus find that although, as might be expected, levels of conflict are related to violence, the power structure of the marriage is also independently related to the occurrence of assault. Coleman and Straus emphasize the importance of including a measure of power structure in an analysis of marital violence, suggest policy ramifications of their findings, and point out implications for arguments by the "pro-family" lobby that warn of disharmony if a traditional male-dominated family structure is abandoned.

Gerry Hotaling and David Sugarman have reviewed research on husband-towife violence conducted from 1970 through 1985, and evaluate 97 potential risk markers from case comparison studies for their consistency in differentiating violent from nonviolent men and female victims from nonvictims. …

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