Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research

Role of Early Exposure to Domestic Violence in Display of Aggression among University Students

Academic journal article Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research

Role of Early Exposure to Domestic Violence in Display of Aggression among University Students

Article excerpt

Children are at physical, emotional, and developmental risk due to domestic violence (Hornor, 2005). Domestic violence has been defined as a pattern of assault and coercive behavior, including physical, sexual, and psychological attack as well as economic coercion that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners (Christopher as cited in Naz, 2005). Five major types of abuse are explained by the Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center and the Sexual Assault Support and Help for Americans Abroad Program (2014), which includephysical, emotional, sexual, social, and spiritual abuse.

Mostly women are the victims of domestic violence. No less than one in every three women has been whipped, constrained into sex, or mishandled in some other way, frequently by somebody she knows, including her spouse or an alternate male relative (United Nations Children's Fund, 2000). The most common types ofviolence against women in Pakistan include, butare not limited to, dowry violence; acidthrowing; burning; sexual violence; harassmentand indecent assault; rape; kidnapping andabduction; trafficking and forced prostitution (Parveen as cited in United States Agency for International Development [USAID], 2012). A study conducted by the Punjab Developmentand Social Welfare Department (2001) stated that around 42% of women acceptedviolence as a part of their fate, whereas, over33% felt helpless to take a stand against it. Only 19% protested against it and only 4% took action against it. The perpetrators of such violence were mostly found to be male relatives (53%) and husbands (32%), women were also identified as perpetrators that is 13% in Pakistan (USAID, 2012).

To witness domestic violence means that a child may not be physically involved or the victim of the abuse, but physically present in the area where violent behavior or incident happens or may overhears about the violence or abuse or comes to know about it through observing its aftermath (Hester, Pearson, &Harwon, 2000).A research has highlighted that harsh behavior teaches children to consider fighting as one of the problem solving strategies and to resolve conflict through aggression, as it is taken to be the appropriate way for solution (Margolin&Gordis, 2000). The role of environmental violence on children's behavior cannot be understood easily until one knows much about the world in which children are born. Such individuals may not only experience problems in homes, but in other settings as well (Davis & Lindsay, 2004) anddisplay aggressive behavior with siblings, peers, and future spouses (Ostrov& Bishop, 2008); may be because they had witnessed parents as role model. Their behavioral problems including aggression, violence, and disruptive behavior grow with age (Jeevasuthan&Hatta, 2013).

Aggressioncan be of different types like verbal, nonverbal, physical, and passive (Blank, 2013). Among other predictors, exposure to family violence isthe best predictors of aggressionrelated outcomes (Ferguson, Miguel, Garza, &Jerabeck, 2011)in adolescents, which are not relatedto gender (Maxwell & Maxwell, 2003).Experiencing violence is linked to adaptability to anger, annoyance, and further negative emotions such as deficits in considering and experiencing others' emotions (Ann & Dante, 1998), including bullying, lying, and violent behavior (Sternburg, Lamb, Gutterman, & Abbott, 2005).

Many youth experience both interparental violence and childhood abuse (Dixon, Hamilton-Giachritsis, Browne, &Ostapuik, 2007; Gover, Kaukinen,& Fox, 2008).The effects of witnessing domestic violence on children are almost comparable to child abuse. Childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuse is directly related to the jeopardy for violent behaviors to self and others. It is a pathway to involve in conflicting and abusive romantic relationship later (Wolfe, Wekerle, Reitzel-Jaffe, & Lefebvre, 1998).In a study on men's attitude towards domestic violence in Karachi, it was found that most abusers had been victims of violence at some point in their childhood (55%) and 65% had witnessed their mothers being beaten (Fikree, Razzak, & Durocher, 2005). …

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