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Review of 4 journal articles on domestic violence


FredParisFrance 61 / 7  
Dec 28, 2007   #1
Hello,

Could you please read my essay and give me some feedback?

The prompt is:

Each student will research four journal articles about intergenerational violence. Once you have located your articles you will write a comprehensive critical analysis of the researchers work. This analysis should include the author's perspective on the topic, the type of research conducted, outcomes and areas of need for further research. You will need to review and compare each article.

Thank you in advance
Frederic

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Research on the aetiology of domestic violence has led to the emergence of numerous concepts. The social learning theory has laid the ground for one of them: the intergenerational transmission of violence. This approach is of particular interest since it presupposes that domestic violence is passed on from one generation to the next generation and that domestic violence is only the consequence of a learnt behaviour. These considerations are of prime importance since they raise various questions about the actual nature and extent of this intergenerational transmission of violence between intimate partners. Thanks to the critical analysis of four journal articles, exploring diverse aspects of this issue, one will be afforded the opportunity to apprehend the extent of the research that has been conducted hitherto in addition to understand the current theoretical issues associated with the intergenerational transmission of violence between intimate partners. So as to review and compare the four studies, the author's perspectives, the type of research conducted, outcomes and areas of need for further research have been analyzed.

Scholars conducting research on the intergenerational transmission of violence have identified various topics in relation to this issue. First, some researchers have been interested by the effects of witnessing marital violence and experiencing harsh parenting in one's family-of-origin, both separately and combined, on individuals' future relationships such as Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) or Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000). On the other hand, some scholars preferred to concentrate their research on the contributions of special factors, such as Bevan and Higgins (2002) who examined the influence of child maltreatment or Kernsmith (2006) who investigated the influence of gender. Consequently, the wide extent of the various hypotheses demonstrates that researchers do not pay attention to the same factors for explaining the transmission of violence between intimate partners. Moreover, this also reveals that scientists do not give the same consideration to all assumed causal factors. Indeed, this supports the claim that, up to now, there is not a single academic way of looking at the study of one's propensity to engage in domestic violence as perpetrator or victim in one's adult relationships. However, although the underlying reasons of a potential intergenerational transmission of violence on the basis of the social learning theory have not been conspicuously determined yet, scholars seemingly agree with the fact that one's parents' behaviour should be closely studied to predict one's attitudes in becoming involved in violent relationships in the future.

The study of the intergenerational transmission of violence has primarily focused on perpetrators and victims. Some studies have primarily employed subjects who were established perpetrators, such as Bevan and Higgins (2002) and Kernsmith (2006) who utilized people having perpetrated domestic violence. Others have preferred subjects who were perpetrators and/or victims such as Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000). Finally, some scholars have favoured the utilization of samples from the general population, namely integrating potential both perpetrators and victims in addition to people who reported having never been involved in domestic violence, such as Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991). These four studies reflect one of the many difficulties encountered by scientists who have attempted to understand the phenomenon of intergenerational transmission of violence. Indeed, if one tries to locate actual perpetrators and victims, one could be trapped in a situation where none perpetrators and victims are present or where perpetrators and victims are exaggeratedly represented. The problem of the over versus under-representation of perpetrators and victims can lead to serious bias for the results of studies.

However, researchers can control this kind of bias generated by the relative representation of people directly involved in domestic violence thanks to the selection of their subjects in community or clinical samples. On the one hand, clinical samples allow researchers, such as Bevan and Higgins (2002) and Kernsmith (2006), to be certain that the subjects are abusers or abused people. On the other hand, community samples let the possibility to reach respondents that are involved in domestic violence as perpetrators or victims without having implicated the legal, medical, or criminal justice systems, such as Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) who used students. Finally, others can decide to overcome the bias by utilizing a very large sample of subjects originating from both community and clinical settings, such as Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000), whose study bears on 12,981 participants coming from both settings. Moreover, this is not because one has finally succeeded in locating actual perpetrators and victims. These people may not want to participate in a study that can potentially have emotional incidences on their recovery. Furthermore, both in the general population and in populations of known perpetrators and victims, the subjects can voluntarily overlook certain aspects of their vision of domestic violence. Conversely, people in the general population may be tempted to conceal their perpetration or victimization of domestic violence to preserve their present life. Consequently, it obviously appears that scholars studying the intergenerational transmission of violence are, to some extent, faced with bias whoever their subjects may be.

Scientists carrying out research on the intergenerational transmission of violence have at their disposal numerous pre-existing tools. However, it is hardly surprising to discover that only two methods are present among the four studies that are presently examined given that scholars often prefer to base their studies on the statistical analysis of quantitative data. For example, Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000) employed a meta-analysis, which is a statistical technique allowing to detect significant trends among the findings from a number of studies, and computed effect-sizes. The studies were included in the met-analysis on condition that they had met two standards. First, they had to examine the relationships between witnessing inter-parental violence during childhood, experiencing harsh parenting during childhood, or both witnessing inter-parental violence and experiencing harsh parenting during childhood. Second, all these studies have also to investigate the perpetration and victimization via physical abuse of their subjects in adult heterosexual cohabiting or marital relationships. Moreover, studies uniquely based on emotional and psychological abuse or examining one of these two types of abuse with physical violence were excluded. Although one could find out whether these studies had relied on the use of questionnaires by looking individually at each one of them, there are no annexes in the research providing this information. In opposition, the three other researches that are analysed in this discussion have relied on the utilization of questionnaires and have only focused on single samples of subjects. Although researchers can exploit a great number of available questionnaires, some of them are more frequently used. For instance, Kernsmith (2006) in addition to Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) utilized the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS), albeit Kernsmith abbreviated it (2006).

The discrepancy as regards the tools employed to conduct research is in no way astonishing because researchers do not found their studies on the investigation of the same factors. Indeed, except Bevan and Higgins (2002) who intentionally prefer an ecological approach and Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000) who involuntarily integrate all types of actors, Kernsmith (2006) and Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) only rely on individual factors. These choices prop up the claim that researchers disagree about the potential causal factors, either they be environmental or individual, at the source of the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence. Moreover, these choices also stress the will to highlight or condone certain variables as being potential dependent or independent variables in the theoretical models implemented to conduct the research. Consequently, it follows from all that the variables coming into play in the search for the triggers provoking the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence can deliberately prejudice the results and findings of research since they lay emphasis on the peculiar perspective of the scientists. As a consequence, although one is aware that inclusion of the totality of the variables is practically impossible, because of the budget or deadlines, the examination of the spectrum of abuse in addition to the continuum of domestic violence over time and space is largely prejudiced by theoretical biases.

The results of the four researches that have been carried out are relatively diverse and bolster, more or less, the hypotheses that had been stated by researchers. For example, Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) find that physical, sexual, and psychological abuse from a father on his son increases the likelihood of perpetration of domestic violence on the son's part in his future relations. Consequently, these results substantiate Alexander, Moore, and Alexander's hypothesis that abusiveness in one's family-of origin may lead to dating violence (2000). Moreover, Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000) discovered that these factors associated with witnessing inter-parental violence not only augment the probability of boys' violence but also girls' victimization in future relationships. Therefore, these results corroborate Stith, Rosen, and Middleton's hypothesis that growing up in an abusive family influences, to some extent, one's future involvement in violent marital relationships (2000). Furthermore, Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000) discovered that the possibility of becoming perpetrator or victim of domestic violence is all the more probable as one's lives in a clinical setting. These results underpin Stith, Rosen, and Middleton's hypothesis that gender and setting (community or clinical) may have differential effects on the likelihood of becoming perpetrator or victim of domestic violence whether individuals' have experienced harsh parenting or witnessed inter-parental violence during their childhood (2000). On the other hand, Kernsmith (2006) reveals that experiencing harsh parenting in addition to witnessing inter-parental violence make plausible the fact that boys and girls can become perpetrators of domestic violence, contrary to Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000) who do not corroborate the potentiality of women's victimization in future relationships. Consequently, Kernsmith's results substantiate his hypothesis according to which experiencing harsh parenting in addition to witnessing inter-parental violence greatly increase the emergence of feelings of fear and hyper-vigilance to threats in adult relationships (2006). Finally, the main conclusion that may be drawn from all those results is that physical, sexual, and psychological abuse during one's childhood largely contributes to the emergence of domestic violence in one's future relationships, although more research is needed to assess other variables as potential triggers of domestic violence.

Moreover, the results of the four researches that have been conducted shed a new light on other aspects of the extent of domestic violence. For example, Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) spotlight the significance of witnessing inter-parental-violence as a major influence on one's attitude towards women, which represents one's vision with respect to the roles and rights of women in the respondents' society at the time of the study. Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) reveal that witnessing inter-parental violence induces men into having conservative attitudes whereas it encourages women to have liberal attitudes towards their same-sex congeners. Furthermore, Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) notice that liberal attitudes in women tend to increase their likelihood to displaying violent behaviour in their future relationships, but the opposite is not true in men's behaviour. On the other hand Bevan and Higgins (2002) point out that among the five main forms of child maltreatments that they consider as potential causal factors, two of them (neglect and witnessing inter-parental violence) play the lead as regards, respectively, the level of physical and psychological spouse abuse in addition to the trauma symptomatology scores. Indeed, according to the results of Bevan and Higgins's study, albeit all forms of child maltreatment during childhood added to one's current alcohol abuse and one's childhood family characteristics (low family cohesion and adaptability) significantly influence one's level of physical spouse abuse and trauma symptomatology scores, neglect has a unique association of one's level of physical spouse abuse (2002). Moreover, witnessing inter-parental violence has also a unique association with one's level of psychological spouse abuse and trauma symptomatology scores but not with one's level of physical spouse abuse. Finally, Kernsmith (2006) foils the prediction of conventional wisdom claiming that perpetrators of domestic violence are also violent outside their home. Subsequently, the results produced by the four studies that are analyzed demonstrate that, in spite of the discrepancies between results, there is a high degree of inter-correlations between risks factors.

Researchers' conclusions regarding an intergenerational transmission of domestic violence rooted on the social learning theory is, in some measure, supported. Therefore, theoretically, children learn abusive behaviour in their family-of-origin and then emulate this abusive behaviour in their own relationships. Most results back this conjectural vision of the transmission of domestic violence based on the social learning theory (Alexander et al., 1991; Bevan and Higgins, 2002; Kernsmith, 2006; Stith et al., 2000). However, although they often disagree about the actual nature and extent of the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence, they are in agreement about the fact that growing up in a violent home is positively related to becoming involved in a violent marital relationship. Furthermore, Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991), Kernsmith (2006), in addition to Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000) are in accord about the fact that witnessing inter-parental violence during childhood has a significant impact on one's probability to being involved in a domestically violent relationship. Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) even support the idea that males who have experienced their father's abusiveness model their conception of relationships on this standard and then imitate this behaviour in their future relationships. Nonetheless, Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) also raise a particularly interesting point in relation to one's attitudes towards women, namely the way one considers the role and rights of women in one's contemporary society. They assumed that "people are influenced by and act on the basis of their perceptions of others' attitudes". Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991) surmise that prior exposition to domestic violence during childhood induces into adopting conservative attitudes for males and liberal attitudes for females. Furthermore, they suppose that this divergence in attitudes may be the cause of the emergence domestic violence in adult relationships. This assumption is all the more attention grabbing as Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000) contend that growing up in a violent home seemingly augments the probability for men to become perpetrators and for women to become victims when domestically violent episodes happen. Moreover, high possibility that domestic violence may emerge is also maintained by Kernsmith (2006), who reveals that exposition to domestic violence during childhood greatly increases one's feelings of "fear and weakness in relationships for both males and females" in addition to enhance the possibility of "experience greater fear in relationships".

The four studies display common weaknesses in addition to several unique limitations. First, all four researches demonstrate a lack of generalizability because they all set themselves the task to restrict their field of research with criteria of inclusion and, a fortiori, of exclusion. Moreover, even the Stith, Rosen, and Middleton's meta-analysis is based, at the very least, on retrospective self-report that have been not corroborated by other people than victims or perpetrators (2000). Second, each work is subject to distinctive biases with respect to the methods that have been employed to collect data. For instance, the Stith, Rosen, and Middleton's meta-analysis encompasses studies spreading over a long period of time, in the case in point a period of seventeen years, from 1980 to 1997 (2000). Consequently, the validity is contingent to the probability that the aetiological factors leading to domestic violence have not evolved over the time. Furthermore, this study is also marked by the ability of the researchers to choose sufficiently representative studies to constitute their sample (Stith, Rosen, and Middleton, 2000). Finally, the works of studies conducted by Bevan and Higgins (2002) and Kernsmith (2006) exhibit similar limitations. Indeed, their researches not only rely on small size samples, thus compromising the validity of the statistical analyses, but they also show imperfections because they utilize clinical samples, emphasizing the frequency of violent behaviour since it is the very reason why people are treated in clinical settings. In addition, they overlook distinctive characteristics such as the influence of the geographical location of the respondents (areas that may be populated with different ethnic groups). Furthermore, these studies also ignore to which extent the intervention of counsellors may affect the respondents' beliefs and behaviour. However, what may appear at first sight as severe limitations to the generalizability of the researches that have been conducted may prove though to be favourable to the comprehension of peculiar populations and, therefore, the implementation of policies adapted to these specific populations.

Finally, domestic violence does not necessarily entail an intergenerational transmission of violence based on the social learning theory, namely on the replication of one's parents' violent behaviour. This close look at the research conducted by Alexander, Moore, and Alexander (1991), Bevan and Higgins (2002), Kernsmith (2006), in addition to Stith, Rosen, and Middleton (2000) rather favours the idea that the intergenerational transmission of domestic violence stems from an intergenerational transmission of the predisposition to trigger violence in relationships based on the social learning theory. Consequently, more research should be carried out in the field of domestic violence to attempt to unravel as many underpinning causal factors and moderating variables as possible. Indeed, in addition to the traditional weaknesses associated with the design of the four researches, another Achilles' heel is evident, though one may forget it in the end: what is the independent influence of biological factors? And what are the combined influences o

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Dec 29, 2007   #2
Greetings!

As usual, your writing is excellent and in-depth. I did wonder, however, about the format you used for the review(s). It seemed to me, reading the instructions, that you were expected to list the studies and analyze them separately in detail, before comparing them as a group. However, it may be that you received additional information in class that I am not aware of.

One small editing note:

one will be afforded the opportunity to apprehend the extent of the research that has been conducted hitherto in addition to understanding the current theoretical issues associated with the intergenerational transmission of violence between intimate partners.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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