Socioeconomic Resources, Gender Traditionalism, and Wife Abuse in Urban Russian Couples

By Cubbins, Lisa A.; Vannoy, Dana | Journal of Marriage and Family, February 2005 | Go to article overview

Socioeconomic Resources, Gender Traditionalism, and Wife Abuse in Urban Russian Couples


Cubbins, Lisa A., Vannoy, Dana, Journal of Marriage and Family


Until recently, Soviet data restrictions led to limited knowledge about wife abuse in Russia. This study adds to emerging research on Russian domestic violence by testing hypotheses derived from resource theory on the effects on wife abuse of husband's absolute resources versus spouses' relative resources. Analysis of data from the 1996 National Survey of Russian Marriages (N = 664) shows support only for the influence of husband's absolute socioeconomic resources (education, employment status, and occupational rank). As in U.S. studies, intergenerational patterns of wife abuse and husband's alcohol use have notable effects on wife abuse. The findings suggest that although resource theory may partly explain wife abuse in urban Russia, spouses' relative resources and husband's gender traditionalism currently have little influence.

Key Words: domestic violence, family violence, resource theory, Russian family spousal abuse, wife abuse.

Until the 1990s, wife abuse was a relatively new area of study in the United States (Gelles & Conte, 1990; Hotaling & Sugarman, 1986). The research of that decade, however, has helped clarify concepts and contexts for domestic violence (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000). In the emerging democracies of the post-Soviet Union, wife abuse is a very new topic of study. In this research, we draw on the developing theories of wife abuse in the United States to examine wife abuse in urban Russia using a 1996 sample of Moscow couples, and address the special case of abuse in dual-earner couples. Our study applies resource theory to the Russian case by analyzing the effects of husband's socioeconomic resources and spouses' relative resources on wife abuse, as well as the moderating influence of husband's gender traditionalism. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic, theory-based investigation of spousal violence in Russia.

THE RESOURCE THEORY OF WIFE ABUSE

In its focus on the consequences of resource disparities in relationships, resource theory provides a model of how dependency on socioeconomic resources and patriarchal beliefs may influence wife abuse. Resource theory was developed from the early theory of marital power posited by Blood and Wolfe (1960). Safilios-Rothschild (1969, 1970, 1982) extended this research to cross-cultural comparisons and further developed the argument that men's control over a range of valued resources (e.g., wealth, income, knowledge, health) increases men's power and decision making in intimate relations with women. Along with others (e.g., Collins, 1975), she recognized how legal and cultural forces at the societal level legitimize and justify gender inequalities in resources and power in marriage and other personal relationships (Safilios-Rothschild, 1985). More recently, the approach has been applied to domestic violence as a specific middle range theory. In considering the absolute level of men's resources, resource theory assumes that men who have many resources do not have to use physical force to establish their power because they are already economically powerful in society. Consistent with this argument, researchers have found that husbands with lower levels of income, prestige, and education are more likely to abuse their wives than are other husbands (Anderson, 1997; Hoffman, Demo, & Edwards, 1994; Hotaling & Sugarman, 1986).

A variation of resource theory, relative resources, argues that it is not simply a lack of resources but a husband's lesser resources compared with those of his wife that generates a husband's violent behaviors. Some research has shown wives with higher education (Gelles, 1974), higher occupational prestige (Gelles), or greater earnings (Anderson, 1997; Lambert & Firestone, 2000) than their husbands to be at higher risk of spouse abuse. In direct contrast, Kalmuss and Straus (1982) found that the fewer the wife's economic resources, the more likely she is to be abused. In a study by Fox, Benson, DeMaris, and Van Wyk (2002), however, neither the husband's nor the wife's share of the family income significantly affected domestic violence. …

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

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Socioeconomic Resources, Gender Traditionalism, and Wife Abuse in Urban Russian Couples
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.