Perception of Partner Abuse and Its Impact on Marital Violence from Both Spouses


Few studies have investigated bi-directional models of marital violence. Research suggests that female victims are also often perpetrators of violence. Accordingly, some researchers propose that we should test the hypothesis that the victim and perpetrator roles can be played by both men and women. The current study addresses this issue by attempting to understand the effect that perceptions of spousal violence will have on both partners’ level of marital violence. Our objectives were to verify the links between levels of violence and perceptions of violence by both partners, and actual self-reports of each type of violence perpetrated. We verified if self-reports and partner’s reports of violence would differ, if one partner’s abuses would influence the other partner’s abuses, and whether the spouse’s self-reported violence or the other spouse’s perception of that violence had a differential impact on the level of violence perpetrated. Twenty-three couples in which the male partner was undergoing treatment for marital violence took part in the study. Results indicate that for both partners perceptions of partner violence modulate the level of marital violence that is perpetrated. The link between perceptions and violent behaviors appears to explain female marital violence better than that it does for males. Implications based on these results are discussed.

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Bélanger, C. , Mathieu, C. & Brisebois, H. (2013). Perception of Partner Abuse and Its Impact on Marital Violence from Both Spouses. Psychology, 4, 858-863. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.411123.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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