The role of conflict-based communication patterns in male physical aggression toward female partners
AuthorFeldman, Clyde Myles
AdvisorRidley, Carl A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe primary purpose of this study was to investigate the association between twenty conflict-based, communication patterns and the level of occurrence (categorical variable) and frequency (continuous variable) of male physical aggression towards female partners. Participants were 280 male volunteers drawn from a community preventative health clinic (n = 236) and from a domestic violence monitoring program for misdemeanor domestic violence offenses (n = 44). Males reported on nine verbally aggressive, five avoidance/withdraw, and six problem-solving/cooperation communication patterns for both self and partner. The communication patterns included mutual verbal aggression, unilateral verbal aggression, threaten/back down, blame/defend, pressure/resist, mutual avoidance, unilateral avoidance, demand/withdraw, mutual problem-solving, unilateral problem-solving, and net constructive communication (i.e., mutual problem-solving minus mutual verbal aggression). Four groups were formed based upon the occurrence of physically aggressive acts during the last twelve months: (a) completely nonviolent, (b) nonviolent toward partner but violent toward others, (c) 1-5 instances of violence toward partner, and (d) 6 or more instances of violence toward partner. Relationship distress was also examined as a moderator and as distress-nonviolence contrasted with violence. Primary findings were that 19 of 20 communication patterns were significantly associated with low and/or high frequency of physical aggression in comparison to nonviolence. Verbally aggressive patterns contributed most (33%), problem-solving/cooperation patterns contributed the second most (27%), and avoidance/withdraw patterns contributing the least (13%) to explaining differences in the level of occurrence of physical aggression. The seven strongest communication patterns indicated that physically aggressive relationships had more mutual verbal aggression, more male and female unilateral aggression, more male threaten/partner back down, less net constructive communication, less mutual problem-solving, and more male demand/partner withdraw than their nonviolent counterparts. Relationship distress was not found to moderate the relationships between any of the twenty communication patterns and physical aggression. Furthermore, only five patterns were found to be more characteristic of physically aggressive relationships than distressed, nonviolent relationships (the above seven patterns excluding problem-solving and demand/withdraw); the other fifteen were equally characteristic of either physical aggression or distress-nonviolence.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family and Consumer Resources