Behind Closed Doors: Violence in the American Family

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Murray Murray Arnold Straus, Richard J. Gelles, Suzanne K. Steinmetz
Transaction Publishers, 1980 - Social Science - 301 pages
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Behind Closed Doors is grounded in the unprecedented national survey of the extent, patterns, and causes of violence in the American family. Based on a study of over 2,000 families, the authors provide landmark insights into this phenomenon of violence and what causes Americans to inflict it on their family members. The authors explore the relationship between spousal abuse and child abuse as well as abuse between siblings, violence by children against their parents, and the causes and effects of verbal abuse. Taken together, their analysis provides a vivid picture of how violence is woven into the fabric of family life and why the hallmark of family life is both love and violence. This is a comprehensive, highly readable account of interest to both the professional and the layperson on an important topic, which concerns the social well-being of us all.


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Violence in the Home
The Marriage License as a Hitting License
Spare the Rod?
Kids Will Be Kids Violence Between Brothers and Sisters
The Social Heredity of Family Violence
Who Are the Violent Americans?
Marital Conflict and Marital Violence
Violent Families Children Stress and Power
Toward Reducing Family Violence BandAids Ambulances and Solutions
Sample and Interviewing
Measuring Violence with the Conflict Tactics Scales
Indexes Used to Measure Conflict Power and Stress

The Social Causes of Family Violence Putting the Pieces Together

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Page 19 - ... of the Causes and Prevention of Violence deals with what violence people would approve. These data show that one out of four men and one out of six women approve of slapping a wife under certain conditions. As for a wife slapping a husband, 26 percent of the men and 19 percent of the women approve. Of course, some people who approve of slapping will never do it and some who disapprove will slap — or worse. Probably the latter group is larger. If that is true, we know that husband-wife violence...
Page 5 - What is new and surprising is that the American family and the American home are perhaps as or more violent than any other single American institution or setting (with the exception of the military, and only then in time of war).

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