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The perceptions and expectations battered women have of their current and ideal marital relationships

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The perceptions and expectations battered women have of their current and ideal marital relationships
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Shir, Jodi Samuels, 1969-
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English
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viii, 130 leaves : ; 29 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Battered women ( jstor )
Child abuse ( jstor )
Gender roles ( jstor )
Husbands ( jstor )
Psychology ( jstor )
Shelters ( jstor )
Violence ( jstor )
Wives ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Womens studies ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychology -- UF ( lcsh )
Psychology thesis, Ph. D ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1996.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 118-129).
Additional Physical Form:
Also available online.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jodi Samuels Shir.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright Jodi Samuels Shir. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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THE PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS BATTERED WOMEN
HAVE OF THEIR CURRENT AND IDEAL MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS












By

JODI SAMUELS SHIR













A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

1996
































This dissertation is dedicated to my parents,
Don and Mimi Samuels,
who inspired me and supported me in pursuing my
academic dreams.














ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I wish to begin my acknowledgements by thanking each and every member of my committee. I would like to thank Harry Grater for his responsiveness and valuable input throughout this research process. I am deeply grateful to Marty Heesacker for his pertinent contributions to my study and to my academic and personal growth. Special thanks go to Andres Nazario, Bob Ziller, and Warren Bargad for their guidance, suggestions, and sincere involvement in this project. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Cary Sutton whose statistical knowledge and willingness to help enabled me to get through the most gruesome portion of this study.

I would like to thank the directors and staff of the

participating agencies for their availability, cooperation, and understanding of the importance of research in the area of battered women. Special thanks are extended to all the women who volunteered to be interviewed and were willing to share openly their intimate lives and took the risk of reexperiencing painful memories for the sake of revealing the truth and educating others by their experiences.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge the emotional and

practical support of my husband, Guy Shir, and my family


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whose empathy, patience, confrontations, and enthusiasm aided in completing this assignment.












































iv


















TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................ iii

ABSTRACT ........................................ vii

CHAPTERS

I INTRODUCTION ............................... 1

Statement of the Problem .................... 7
Purpose of the Study ....................... 7
Need for the Study ......................... 8
Research Hypotheses ........................ 10
Significance of the Study .................. 11
Definition of Terms ........................ 12
Organization of the Study .................. 14

II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................... 15

Historical Origins ......................... 15
Differences in Men and Women ............... 17
Factors Associated With Wife Abuse ......... 18
Individual Factors ....................... 19
Batterers ..............................
Abused Women ...........................
Demographic Factors ...................... 20
Economic Factors ......................... 21
Status ................................... 21
Relationship Factors ...................... 22
Stress and Isolation ..................... 23
Cycle of violence ........................ 23
Victim or Witness ........................ 24
Profile of Wife Abuse .................... 25
Models That Explain Family Violence ........ 27
The Psychiatric Model ..................... 27
The Social Situational Model ............. 27
Social Learning Theory ................... 28
Resource Theory .......................... 29
Patriarchy and Wife Abuse ................ 29

v









Theories That Explain Why They Stay ........ 30
Learned Helplessness ...................... 32
Walker Cycle Theory of Violence .......... 34 Does the Violence End? ................... 36
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ........... 37
The Circumplex Model ....................... 38
Marital and Family Cohesion .............. 39
Marital and Family Adaptability .......... 41 Marital and Family Communication ......... 43
Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness
Evaluation Scales (FACES) ................. 47
Implications of This Study ................. 48

III METHODOLOGY ....... .... ..................... 53

Population and Sample ...................... 53
Instrumentation............................. 55
Data Collection Procedures ................. 59
Hypotheses/Data Analysis .................... 60

IV RESULTS ..................................... 63

Sample Characteristics ...................... 63
Analysis of Hypotheses ...................... 77
Summary of Findings ......................... 83

V DISCUSSION ................................... 85

Discussion of Results ....................... 85
Limitations of the Study ................... 91
Discussion of Demographics .................. 93
Concluding Remarks .......................... 96

APPENDICES

A EVALUATION OF FACES II ....................... 99
B COMPARISON STUDIES ON EDUCATION .............. 102
C COMPARISON STUDIES ON DEMOGRAPHICS ........... 104
D DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE.................... 107
E FAMILY ADAPTABILITY AND COHESIVENESS
EVALUATION SCALES ..................... 109
F INTRODUCTORY LETTERS......................... 113
G DEBRIEFING LETTER ............................ 117

REFERENCES .... ..................................... 118

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ 130







vi














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS BATTERED WOMEN
HAVE OF THEIR CURRENT AND IDEAL MARITAL RELATIONSHIP BY

JODI SAMUELS SHIR

August 1996

Chair: Dr. Harry Grater
Department: Psychology

The purpose of this study was to explore both the

current perceptions and ideal expectations battered women have for their marital relationships. The variables were drawn from previous research and the Circumplex Model of David Olson and his colleagues (1979). It was hypothesized that battered women's current relationship, as well as their ideal relationship, would be categorized as Extreme according to the Circumplex Model. Such a categorization has been linked with a variety of family dysfunction.

Questionnaires were completed by 57 women during their stay at either the Broward County or Dade County Women in Distress shelters. An additional 22 questionnaires were completed by women who were participating in out-patient therapy through the Broward County shelter.


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Chi-square analyses revealed significant findings for both of these hypotheses (p<.0001). Looking at the residuals between the expected and observed values showed that their current perceptions fell into the extreme family type and their ideal expectations fell into the balanced family type at a greater frequency than that expected by chance.

Selected demographics were also collected and reported. In addition, the limitations of this study and alternative interpretations of the results are addressed.

































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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION



The intent of this study was to explore both the

current perceptions and future expectations battered women have in regards to their marital relationships.

In the past decade, domestic violence, particularly

spouse abuse, has been brought increasingly to the public's attention. What was once considered an unspoken family issue, condoned and encouraged by society is now deemed a social problem (Dobash & Dobash, 1971; Roy, 1977; Stacey & Shupe, 1983; Strauss, 1978). Considered as one representation of violence against women, spouse abuse was initially addressed through the impetus of the feminist movement. In an effort to better understand, treat, and ameliorate the problem of conjugal assault, a host of disciplines and groups, including helping professionals and feminists, have undertaken the charge to research the problem (Fleming, 1979; Hansen & Barnhill, 1982; Hilberman, 1980; NiCarthy, Merriam & Coffman, 1984; Walker, 1979, 1984). This involvement has led to a focus on providing safety and treatment for spouse abuse victims as well as driving research efforts to search for the causes and


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effects of such abuse.

An indication of the extent of the problem is the

number of individuals affected by domestic violence. Many experts cite incident rates as high as 60% (Gelles, 1974; Walker, 1979), and even conservative estimates, derived from studies with allegedly representative national samples, indicate that almost 30% of married women in the United States experience some physical spouse abuse at some point in their marriage (Straus, 1978). From one national survey of violence in U.S. American homes, researchers reported that in one household out of six, a spouse has committed an act of violence against his or her partner in the past year (Strauss, Gelles & Steinmetz, 1980). The researchers in that survey concluded that an American's greatest risk of being assaulted, injured, or murdered occurs in one's own home by a family member. Forty % of all female murder victims are killed by their husbands (Dobash & Dobash, 1977-78, 1979). Beatings constitute the most prevalent method of wife murder (Fields, 1977-78).

Wife abuse exacts a high physical, psychological, and social price. Conjugal abuse affects not only the marital dyad, but also the children and family unit. When violence occurs in the family, children are seeing models for how to handle relationships and disagreement. A cultural tradition exists to utilize hitting as punishment to curb unwanted behavior. Theoretically, children not only learn to curb








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behaviors through this model; realistically, they also learn that violence and love are linked, that violence is morally right, and that violence is justifiable when something is really important (Gelles, 1977). Thus, an attitude that violence can be exercised for the "good" of the recipient is promulgated (Miller, 1983). These lessons in childhood are transferred to the context of other social relationships, and violence in families and relationships becomes a way of life (Gelles, 1977; Miller, 1983, 1986). The intergenerational cycle theory of violence, i.e., that children who are recipients of violence will grow up to be perpetrators of violence, has been validated repeatedly (cf. Bakan, 1971; Gil, 1970; Gillen, 1946; Maurer, 1976; Palmer, 1962; Steele and Pollack, 1974; Welsh, 1976).

Also, domestic violence has significant costs for

society. As examples, public and private sector funds are used to pay for shelters, counseling, police intervention, legal avenues and other resources. Police face greater injury and death at the scenes of domestic violence than at any other crime scene in which they intervene (Bard and Zacker, 1974).

Wife abuse is a chronic crime which escalates in

severity and poses a serious threat to the safety of the women involved (Pagelow, 1977a, 1977b, 1981; Walker, 1979). Battered women commonly report receiving murder threats from their abusers, as well as perceiving the batterers'








4

capabilities to kill them (Walker, 1979). The violence in wife abuse is often excessive and relentless, with beatings continuing after the victims are either unconscious or dead (Okun, 1986; Walker, 1979; Wolfgang, 1958). The severity of the threat to abused women's lives is substantiated by the statistics on women who are murdered by their partners (Dobash and Dobash, 1977-78, 1979). Many more women seek safe shelter than abusers seek treatment for their problem (Fleming, 1979). Batterers find it extremely difficult to acknowledge their behavior as a problem or to take responsibility for the outcome of their brutality (Walker, 1979). The chances are quite slim that battered women who return to their households will experience an improved conjugal relationship with less threat of violence (Pagelow, 1981). Unfortunately, however, many women do return to these relationships and it is therefore imperative that research continues within this realm in order to determine how clinicians can best treat the battered wife as well as the entire family.

It has become evident that wife abuse affects not only the wife, but the entire family. Viewed against this background, models of family functioning which can explain and predict the behavior and adjustment of family members are of great importance. One such model that has been developed is the Circumplex Model (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russell, 1979). They clustered more than 50 concepts from








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the family therapy and family research literatures and postulated three dimensions of family behavior: cohesion, adaptability, and communication. Cohesion is defined as the emotional bonding family members have towards one another. Adaptability is the capacity of the family system to change its power structure, role relations, and relationship rules in response to situational and developmental stress. Communication, the third dimension, is important for facilitating family's movement along the cohesion and adaptability dimensions.

Olson and his associates have placed the dimensions of cohesion and adaptability in a Circumplex Model in which different types of family systems are identified. They hypothesized that a curvilinear relationship exits between cohesion and adaptability and optimal family functioning. Specifically, they proposed that moderate degrees of both cohesion and adaptability, as measured by the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (FACES), are the most functional for family development.

One of the assets of any theoretical model is that

hypotheses can be deduced and tested in order to evaluate and further develop the model. If the formulations of Olson and his associates are valid, they would have considerable utility in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of battered women's families. Empirical evaluations of FACES and the Circumplex Model have provided support for this








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model. For example, three studies with clinical populations (Gabarino, Sebes, and Schellenbach, 1984; Killorin & Olson, 1980; Sprenkle and Olson, 1978), two of which were authored by developers of the model, have shown that higher-functioning families tend to possess moderate degrees of cohesion and adaptability, whereas more disturbed families tend to present extreme degrees.

Following from this, this study will explore the

current perceptions battered women have of their most recent relationship. Specifically, it is hypothesized that these scores will fall into the rigidly-disengaged cell on the Circumplex Model, classifying their family as extreme. As described in the literature review that follows, the extreme family type usually lacks a healthy emotional bond as well as lacking adaptability as it was described herein. Additionally, this study will examine the expectations battered women have for their ideal marital relationship. Specifically, this study hypothesizes that the scores for their ideal expectations will fall into the chaoticallyenmeshed cell, categorizing their family type as extreme. This assumption is based on the idea that these women would be so unsatisfied and unhappy in their current relationship that they would seek the opposite extreme, that being an intense emotional bond and alot of ability for adaptability such that the relationship becomes too flexible rather than a healthy moderate balance.








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Problem Statement

It has been indicated by several researchers (Carlson, 1977; Hartik, 1982) that very little systematic research has been conducted in this area. The limited data collection tend not to be oriented toward service delivery. It is noted that these pioneer writers in the field of wife abuse focused primarily upon the sociological or legal aspects of the issues, and a paucity of statistical empiricism of the psychological approach is evident.

Walker (1981) confirmed the lack of information that

deals with the relationship between the battering experience and the mental health status of the abused women. She stated that up to this point there are no records that indicate any consideration was given to the impact of psychological injuries that might result from such abuse.

Warner (1982) recognized the importance of the process of assessment from a holistic point of view. She believed that understanding the dynamics of the violence and assessing the emotional factors that occur after an act of violence may facilitate in determining the services and the referral sources essential for adequate survival of each victim.



Purpose

The purpose of this study was to examine the

functionality/dysfunctionality of the relationships battered








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women are currently in as well as those that they would seek out. Specifically, this study sought to explore the perceptions and expectations of a battered woman in regards to her current and ideal marital relationship. This would be measured using FACES II (Olson, Bell and Portner 1979). The prediction would be that both the current and ideal scores would fall into the dysfunctional range as predicted by the circumplex model. It was assumed that this would be the result of their prior history of physical as well as psychological abuse in addition to their current demographics. Further, this study will explore whether or not these current and ideal responses fit into one specific subtype on the Circumplex Model. Assuming these purposes are fulfilled, we would be able to make better implications on how to ideally approach these women in treatment. The importance of understanding family dynamics is an essential part of the healing process and this study serves as an attempt towards this end.



Need

It is apparent that the demands to provide mental heath services to the victims of spousal abuse and their families have increased as a result of more exposure and recognition of the problem. In several studies researchers have examined various factors related to women remaining in or leaving a relationship when they are battered, though the researchers








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did not form global theories which guided their choice of factors.

The choice of studying battered women's current

perceptions and expectations of ideal marital relationships stems from the belief that these perceptions and expectations may play a highly influential role in much of the behavior of victims. These variables are particularly significant because of the effects they would have on the emotional growth and development of the victims. Faulty perceptions and low expectations may block the victims from taking a stance in changing their plight, may reduce the number of alternatives they are willing to consider, and may further their entrapment and resignation to continue in destructive relationships. These conditions may affect the frequency and/or the persistence in exerting efforts to seek professional and paraprofessional help. They can keep the victims from doing some things necessary for their survival and are certainly obstacles to their own autonomy.

The psychological aftereffects of battering were viewed as one of the major factors responsible for women staying in abusive homes. These aftereffects typically include the physical, financial, and emotional dependency which all result in a low level of self-esteem and serve to keep the battered women immobilized both psychologically and behaviorally (Moore, 1979). However, also worth exploring is the impact these aftereffects have on the perceptions and








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expectations of the battered women.

This study is also important due to its empirical

nature. The model of family functioning proposed by Olson and his associates has not been applied to battered women. Nor has the model been utilized to address the issues that pertain to different ideal expectations battered women may have that would serve to either promote or inhibit effective functioning of family members. The present study addresses these needs.



Research Hypotheses

The specific research hypotheses were as follows:

1. Do battered women have dysfunctional expectations

for their ideal marital relationships, as evidenced by their scores falling into the Extreme family type on the Circumplex Model?

2. What is the level of satisfaction battered women have for their current system?

3. Will battered women's current perceptions or ideals cluster into a specific cell on the Circumplex Model?

3a. Will their current perceptions fall into the rigidly disengaged cell?

3b. Will their ideal expectations fall into the chaotically enmeshed cell?

4. Will there be differences in scores between battered women sampled from different shelters?








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5. How do the demographic factors correlate with the cells/subtypes on the circumplex model?





Significance

This study has implications for researchers in the area of domestic violence, shelter personnel, community agency personnel, private practitioners, and battered women. A workable theory which accurately describes the social problem of wife abuse and which can be used to shape a better family unit and society has yet to be defined. Whether refinement of current theories or evolution of a new theory occurs, research is required on the batterer, the family unit, society, and the battered woman. Despite the heritage of this problem as a socially taboo subject, and the paucity of funding provided to it, the findings from this research effort will add to what is known about battered women and be a part of the base for future research efforts on conjugal violence against women.

By establishing a relationship between the variables under investigation, the plan was that this study would allow researchers, clinicians, and educators to better understand the dynamics of wife abuse. Assuming that battered women do have dysfunctional expectations in regards to their ideal marital relationship, clinicians would have to approach these family systems in more nontraditional ways








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by first expanding the realm of possibilities for marital functioning.

Finally, battered women can gain greater self

understanding and mutual appreciation by more clearly knowing the challenges they face to establish violence-free lives. These findings will not provide them with the causal explanations for why some stay with or return to abusers and some do not. Yet, the findings may provide them with clues to explore what in their situations are defensive responses to their abuse and which have roots in both external and internalized oppression. Greater understanding can help minimize self-blame and guilt.



Definition of Terms

Operational definitions for terms relevant to the research are provided to enhance understanding.



Battered Woman

A battered woman is any married or unmarried woman over the age of 16 who has been physically abused in ways which caused pain or injury on at least one occasion at the hands of an intimate male partner. (A definition for battered women has not been universally agreed upon by researchers). The most notable distinctions about this definition are as follows: A battered woman would not need to present evidence of injury; self-report of physical battering is sufficient.








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The battering need not be a repeated occurrence as preferred by some authors (Michigan Women's Commission, 1977; Parker & Scumacher, 1977). Although abuses other than physical may be just as devastating, and support exists to include psychological abuse as a component of battering (Moore, 1979; Walker, 1978b, 1979, 1980a), the definition herein has been limited to physical harm alone. The purpose is because physical abuse can be documented more readily; operationalizing a definition for psychological abuse is, at best, extremely difficult. This sample may include women who are cohabitating with men although not legally married to them, or separated or divorced partners who are living with each other.) Battered wives and wife abuse victims will also mean battered women as defined here. Abused, harmed, or beaten may be substituted for battered.



Adaptability

"The ability of a marital/family system to change its power structure, role relationships, and relationship rules in response to situational and developmental stress" (Olson et al., 1979, p. 12). The battered woman's score on the adaptability dimension for the Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scale (FACES II) will constitute adaptability for this study.








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Cohesion

"The emotional bonding members have with one another and the degree of individual autonomy a person experiences in the family system" (Olson et al., 1979, p.5). For this study, the battered woman's score on the cohesion dimension of FACES II will constitute cohesiveness in the family.



Organization of Study

This study will be presented in five chapters. Chapter two is a review of the related literature. The proposed research methodology is detailed in the third chapter. Data analyses and results are printed in the fourth chapter. Finally, in Chapter five, the researcher offers a discussion and interpretation of the results, a discussion of the limitations of the study, and further implications.














CHAPTER II

REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE



The literature review will present research that will aid in the understanding of the background upon which this study was based. There will be five sections in this chapter. The first four sections will present material on the history, selected demographic characteristics, theories that attempt to explain the dynamics of wife abuse, and a discussion of why women would remain in these relationships. The final section will discuss and review the research which pertains to the model of family functioning developed by Olson et al. (1979).



Historical Origins

The origins of spouse abuse have been traced back to the times when history was first recorded. Biblical references to wife-beating are commonly cited (Davidson, 1979) as are similar religious exhortations to treat wives with respect and tenderness (Hendricks, 1982). Patriarchy is often blamed for the introduction of sexism in society through its subordination of women concept (Stone, 1976), and the Dobashes (1981) carefully trace its linkages to 15








16

spouse abuse.

History also forces researchers to look at linkages of woman-battering to other violent acts committed by men, against those weaker and less powerful than themselves, usually women and children. Most agree that men continue to use violence as a method of getting what they want because it is successful and no one stops them (Martin, 1976; Straus et al., 1980; Walker, 1979; Berk et al., 1983). Feminists assert that all men benefit from the violence against women committed by a few (Leidig, 1981). Brownmiller (1975), in a historical review of rape, claims that rapists are the "shock troops" who serve to convince women to mate and to marry with one man to provide her with protection against the other men's potential violence. Jones (1980) adds to this analogy by claiming that batterers are the "home guard" who serve to convince women to behave as men wish in order to escape further violence. The tenacity with which assaults against women continue provides the empirical evidence that violence is seen as a useful tactic to keep a male-dominant, patriarchal social order in place (Walker, 1984).

The legal system, called upon to mete out punishment

for those who break society's rules has only recently begun to punish wife beaters. This is another example of the widespread historical acceptance of such violent behavior. Pleck (1979) details the changes in social and legal attitudes in the nineteenth century, citing the variability








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between formal and informal means of punishment. She documents how community standards of justice, set by men to regulate the behavior of other men, were embedded in their own definitions of proper behavior for men and women. Jones (1980) provides a historical context of similar attitudes since the beginning of our country. Gelles (1972) found that individuals still reflect those notions of just discipline for infractions or perceived standards of behavior. Research must measure the impact of such norms of control for them, rather than ignore the social context in which violence takes place.



Differences in Women and Men

The traits of affiliation and sensitivity developed through women's roles of nurturing and sustained through intimate relating are frequently seen as weaknesses in a culture built on male yardsticks of autonomy and success (Browne, 1987). Perceived as weak by men and even by women, these qualities are both valued and denigrated: valued for their manageability and the comfort and stability they bring to the lives of others, yet belittled as indicating a lack of strength, independence, and maturity (Miller, 1976; Gilligan, 1982). Theories of personality and development have been based largely on men and male ideals (Freud, 1905, 1925, & 1961; Piaget, 1932; Erickson, 1950; Kholberg, 1969). Thus, traditional models of psychological development place








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a heavy emphasis on the importance of individuation, task mastery, and autonomy, all a part of the prescription for being a successful male.

"Women's" traits, even women's strengths of compassion and care, have been described as somehow deviant from this traditional model; weaker, less effective, and less developed (McClelland, 1975; Miller, 1976; Gilligan, 1982). In particular, the importance attached by women to connection--what Kaplan and Surrey have called the "relational self" in women, or the quality of relationships with others being at the core of one's self-concept--is seen as less mature and less well-adjusted than the more autonomous perspective attributed to men (Kaplan and Surrey, 1984). In the male model, intimacy and relatedness often appear as threats to the more highly valued goals of autonomy and independence.

This brief review of the history and concurrent

societal standards for men and women shows clearly that there is strong empirical evidence advocating the high frequency of woman-battering.



Factors Associated With Wife Abuse

The earliest publications on the subject of wife abuse took a distinctively psychiatric view of both offender and victim. Women who were abused were believed to suffer from psychological disorders as did the men who abused them.








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Research conducted in the 1970's and 1980's found this view of wife battery too simplistic. There are a number of individual, demographic, relational, and situational factors related to violence towards wives. These factors are probably all interrelated (Gelles & Cornell, 1985).



Individual Factors

Batterers. Men who assault and batter their wives have been found to have low self esteem and vulnerable self concepts. A remark, insult, or comment that might not affect someone else may be interpreted as a slight, insult, or challenge to many of these men. Abusive men have also been described as feeling helpless, powerless, and inadequate (Ball, 1977; Weitzman and Dreen, 1982). Violence is frequently used as a means of trying to demonstrate one's power and adequacy.

Abused women. Psychological portraits of battered wives are difficult to interpret (Gelles and Cornell, 1985). One never really knows whether the personality factors found in battered wives were present before they were battered or are the result of the victimization.

Battered women have been described as dependent, having low self esteem, and feeling inadequate and helpless (Ball, 1977; Shainess, 1977; Walker, 1979). Sometimes the personality profiles of battered women reported in the literature seem directly opposite. While some researchers








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described battered women as unassertive, shy, and reserved (Weitzman & Dreen, 1982), other reports picture battered women as aggressive, masculine, frigid, and masochistic (Snell et al., 1964; Ball, 1977)



Demographic Factors

Results of the National Family Violence survey indicate that all forms of marital violence occur most frequently among those under thirty years of age (Straus et al., 1980). The rate of marital violence among those under thirty years of age is more than double the rate for the next older age group (thirty-one to fifty).

Studies that examine women who seek help from agencies or shelters also find that the mean age is thirty or younger (Gayford, 1975; Fagan et al., 1983).

Straus and his colleagues also found that wife abuse was more common in Black households than white households. This is different from child abuse where there were no major differences between Blacks and whites. Obviously, race is not the only factor in play here. Income and occupational status are probably also associated with the increased rates of wife abuse among Blacks.

Marital violence can occur at any stage of a marriage, but as the data on age would appear to indicate, newer marriages have the highest risk of wife abuse. Maria Roy (1977) found that the highest %age of battered women were








21

married from 2.5 to 5 years. Another study reported that the median length of a violent marriage was 5 years (Fagan et al., 1983).



Economic Factors

One of the main factors associated with wife battery is the employment status of the husband. Being unemployed is devastating to men in our society. It is a clear demonstration that they are not fulfilling society's expectation that men are the family providers. Unemployed men have rates of wife assault that are almost double the rates for employed men (Rounsaville, 1978; Gayford, 1975; Prescott & Letko, 1977). Men who are employed part time have even higher rates, probably because they have the worst of all possible worlds -- no full-time job and not eligible for unemployment or other benefits (Straus et al., 1980).



Status

Early studies of spousal violence found that men whose educational attainment and occupational status was lower than their wives were more likely to assault their wives than men who were better educated and had better jobs than their spouses (Gelles, 1974; O'Brien, 1971). Additional research bears out the hypothesis that status inconsistency and status incompatibility are related to marital violence. One example of status inconsistency is where a husband's








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educational background is considerably higher than his occupational attainment. Status incompatibility is when the husband, who society expects to be the leader of the family, had less education and a poorer job than his wife. In both of these cases, the risk of marital violence is elevated (Hornunq et al., 1981; Steinmetz, 1982; Rounsaville, 1978).



Relationship Factors

One of the most compelling indicators that domestic violence is not purely a product of individual factors is the finding that certain properties of marital relations raise the likelihood of violence. That structural properties of marriage and family life are involved means that abuse can not be solely attributed to "bad" or "sick" people.

Decision-making patterns or power balance was found to be related to domestic violence. Democratic households homes where decision making is shared are the least violent families. Homes where all the decisions are made either by the wife or the husband have the highest rates of violence.

Another relationship factor is that if there is one type of family violence in a home, there is a good chance that another form of violence will be present. Child abuse rates are higher in homes where there is spouse abuse (Straus et al., 1980; Hilberman & Munson, 1977; Finklehor, 1983).








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Stress and Isolation

Social stress and social isolation are two final

factors that are strongly related to the risk of wife-abuse. Unemployment, financial problems, sexual difficulties, low job satisfaction, large family size, and poor housing conditions are all related to marital violence. The more socially isolated a family is, the higher the risk that there will be wife-abuse.



Cycle of Violence

As with child battering, wife battering is related to experiences with violence. Individuals who have experienced violent childhoods are more likely to grow up and assault their wives than men who have not experienced childhood violence. Physician J.J. Gayford (1975) as well as other investigators found that both offender and victim had a violence-ridden childhood (Roy, 1977; Fagan et al., 1983).

Drawn from social learning theory, the concept of an "intergenerational transmission of violence" explains how patterns of violent interaction can be "passed on" from one generation to the next. Children growing up in violent homes learn from observing, and then imitating, the behaviors of the people around them. In addition, they begin to develop their own ideas about how different emotions are expressed and what constitutes appropriate reactions for various situations (Browne, 1987). These concepts include ideas








24

about what behaviors are appropriate for males and females, and the roles and responsibilities of different family members. Social learning theory suggests that when violence is present in the family setting, children will model those ways of dealing with relationships and apply similar methods of coping when they are faced with threatening situations later in life (Bandura, 1973; Bandura & Walters, 1973; Herzberger, 1983; Pagelow, 1980).

In their 1980 national study of couples, Straus,

Gelles, and Steinmetz asserted that, "Each generation learns to be violent by being a participant in a violent family -'Violence begets violence" (p. 121). Findings from studies on the development of aggressive behavior support a theoretical connection between childhood exposure to aggressive acts and involvement with adult violence. For instance, exposure to aggression as a child is highly correlated with later anti-social or delinquent behavior in general, and the acts of violence in particular (Alfaro, 1978; Farrington, 1978; McCord, 1979; Sorrells, 1977; Strausburg, 1978).



Victim or Witness

The impact that childhood exposure to violence can have on an individual's future interactional style is further highlighted by recent studies that attempt to separate the effects of witnessing violence between parental figures from








25

those of experiencing violence in the form of childhood abuse. Although exposure to violence in the childhood home, whether as a victim or a witness or both, is highly associated with later involvement in violent relationships, the experience of witnessing abuse seems to be the most powerful factor for both men and women. Of 42 characteristics of female victims investigated by researchers (Hotaling and Sugarman, 1986), only one-witnessing violence between parents or caregivers while growing up--is consistently related to future wife abuse. Similarly, men who witnessed parental violence are much more likely to later perpetrate abuse against a female partner than men who were the victims of child abuse but did not witness abuse between their parents or caregivers (Coleman, Weinman & Hsi, 1980; Fagan et al., 1983; Kalmuss, 1984; Rosenbaum & O'Leary, 1981; Rouse, 1984a, 1984b).



Profile of Wife Abuse

One way of advancing our understanding of spousal abuse is to move beyond a simple explanation of single factors and their association with violence. After considering all the variables that are found to be related with violence in the home, Straus and associates (1980) found twenty characteristics relevant in acts of wife beating. They included the following:

1. the husband employed part-time or unemployed








26

2. family income under $6000

3. the husband a manual worker (if employed)

4. both husband and wife very worried about economic

security

5. the wife dissatisfied with the family's standard of

living

6. two or more children

7. disagreements over children being common

8. husband and wife have grown up in families where father

hit mother

9. couples married fewer than ten years 10. the husband and wife both less than thirty years of age 11. a nonwhite racial group 12. above average marital conflict 13. very high levels of family and individual stress 14. the wife or husband dominating family decisions 15. a husband verbally aggressive to his wife 16. a wife verbally aggressive to her husband 17. both getting drunk frequently, but are not alcoholics 18. couples who lived in a neighborhood fewer than two years 19. couples who do not participate in organized religion, or 20. the wife a full-time housewife








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Models That Explain Family Violence



The Psychiatric Model

The psychiatric model focuses on the abuser's

personality characteristics as the chief determinants of violence and abuse. A psychiatric model links factors such as mental illness, personality defects, psychopathology, sociopathology, alcohol and drug misuse, or other intra-individual abnormalities to family violence.

Research indicates that less than 10% of instances of family violence is attributable solely to personality traits, mental illness, or psychopathology (Steele. 1978).



The Social Situational Model

A social-situational model of family violence proposes that abuse and violence arise out of two main factors. The first is structural stress. The association between low income and family violence, for instance, indicates that a central factor in violence and abuse is inadequate financial resources. The second main factor is the cultural norm concerning force and violence in the home. "Spare the rod and spoil the child." "The marriage license is a hitting license." These are phrases that underscore the widespread social approval for the use of force and violence at home.

The social-situational model notes that such structural stresses as low income, unemployment, limited educational








28

resources, illness, and the like are unevenly distributed in society. While all groups are told that they should be loving parents, adoring husbands, and caring wives, only some groups get sufficient resources to meet these demands. Others fall considerably short of being able to have the psychological, social, and economic resources to meet the expectations of society, friends, neighbors, loved ones, and themselves. Combined with the cultural approval for violence, these shortfalls lead many family members to adopt violence and abuse as a means of coping with structural stress.



Social Learning Theory

A subset of social-situational theory is social

learning theory. A commonly stated explanation for family violence is that people learn to be violent when they grow up in violent homes. The family is the first place where people learn the roles of mother and father, husband and wife. The family is one key place where we learn how to cope with stress and frustration. The family is also the place where people are most likely to first experience violence. A history of abuse and violence does increase the risk that an individual will be violent as an adult.

Individuals are not only exposed to techniques of being violent, but they also learn the social and moral justifications for the behavior. It is not uncommon to hear








29

a parent who has physically struck his or her own child explain that they were punishing the child for the child's own good.



Resource Theory

Another explanation of family violence that is

supported by the available scientific data is resource theory (Goode, 1971). This model assumes that all social systems (including the family) rest to some degree on force or the threat of force. The more resources--social, personal, and economic--a person can command, the more force he or she can muster. However, according to William Goode, the author of this theory, the more resources a person actually has, the less he or she will actually use force in an open manner. Thus, a husband who wants to be the dominant person in the family, but has little education, has a job low in prestige and income, and lacks interpersonal skills, may chose to use violence to maintain the dominant position. In addition, family members may use violence to redress a grievance when they have few alternative resources available.



Patriarchy and Wife Abuse

The sociologists Russell and Rebecca Dobash (1979) see wife abuse as a unique phenomenon that has been obscured and overshadowed by what they refer to as the "narrow focus on








30

domestic violence. The Dobashes make the case that throughout history, violence has systematically been directed toward women. The Dobashes' central thesis is that economic and social processes operate directly and indirectly to support a patriarchal (male dominated) social order and family structure. Their central theoretical argument is that patriarchy leads to subordination of women and causes the historical pattern of systematic violence directed against wives.

The Dobashes' theory is perhaps the only theory that finds the source of family violence in the society and how it is organized, as opposed to within individual families or communities. The major drawback of the theory is that it uses but a single factor (patriarchy) to explain violence, and single factor explanations are rarely useful in social science.



Why Do They Stay?

Why would a woman who has been physically abused by her husband remain with him? This question appears in the literature as one of the most frequently asked by both professionals and the lay public in the course of discussions of family violence. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not easily answered. Several factors need to be taken into consideration. In the first place the decision to either stay with an assaultive spouse or to seek








31

intervention or dissolution of a marriage is not related solely to the extent or severity of the physical assault. Some spouses will suffer repeated severe beatings or even stabbings without so much as calling a neighbor, while others call the police after a coercive gesture from their husbands. Second, the assumption that the victim would flee from a conjugal attacker overlooks the complex subjective meaning of intrafamilial violence, the nature of commitment and entrapment to the family as a social group, and the external constraint which limits a woman's ability to seek outside help (Gelles, 1976). As has been reported elsewhere (Parnas, 1967; Gelles, 1974; Straus, 1974b, 1976), violence between spouses is often viewed as normative and, in fact, mandated in family relations. Wives have reported that they believe that it is acceptable for a husband to beat his wife "every once in a while" (Parnas, 1967: 952; Gelles, 1974: 59-61).

Legal writer Elizabeth Truninger (1971) lists seven factors that help explain why women do not break off relationships with abusive husbands: 1) they (the women) have negative self-concepts; 2) they believe their husbands will reform; 3) economic hardship; 4) they have children who need a father's economic support; 5) they doubt they can get along alone; 6) they believe divorcees are stigmatized; and 7) it's difficult for women with children to get work. Moreover, Truninger found that women attempt to dissolve a








32

violent marriage only after a history of conflict and reconciliation. According to this analysis, a wife makes a decision to obtain a divorce from her abusive husband when she can no longer believe her husband's promises of no more violence nor forgive past episodes of violence.

Ferraro and Johnson (1983) described how women

"rationalized" being abused, saying things like, "I asked for it', "He's sick", and "He didn't injure me". Ferraro and Johnson (1983) also demonstrate how these accounts prevented the women from seeking help. Along the same lines, Mills (1985) described the "techniques of neutralization" that battered women use "to help them tolerate violent marriages." Mills (1985) found that one way that women "manage the violence" directed towards them was they used "justifications" (e.g., "compared to others, it seems my problems are small") to "minimize the significance of their victimization" (p.109).



Learned Helplessness

The theoretical concept of "learned helplessness" has been adapted in this realm to explain why women find it difficult to escape a battering relationship (Walker, 1978b, 1979). Seligman and his colleagues discovered that when laboratory animals were repeatedly and noncontingently shocked, they became unable to escape from a painful situation, even when escape was quite possible and readily








33

apparent to animals that had not undergone helplessness training. Seligman (1975) likened the learned helplessness to a kind of human depression, and showed that both have cognitive, motivational, and behavioral components. The inability to predict the success of one's actions was considered responsible for the resulting perceptual distortions. Moreover, Seligman's theory was further refined and reformulated, based on later laboratory trials with human participants (Abramson, Seligman & Teasdale, 1978). For example, depressed humans were found to have negative, pessimistic beliefs about the efficacy of their actions and the likelihood of obtaining future rewards; helpless animals act as if they held similar beliefs. Both depressed humans and helpless animals exhibited motivational deficits in the laboratory. Both showed signs of emotional upset with illness, phobias, sleep disturbances, and other such symptoms similar to those described as part of the battered woman syndrome.

It has also been suggested that "being a woman, more specifically a married woman, automatically creates a situation of powerlessness" (Walker, 1979, p.51), and that women are taught sex-role stereotyping which encourages passivity and dependency even as little girls (Radloff & Rae, 1979, 1981; Dweck, Goetz, & Strauss, 1980). Seligman's research indicated that the experience of noncontingency between response and outcome early in an animal's








34

development increased that animal's vulnerability to learned helplessness later in life. He hypothesized that the same principles apply in human child raising practices (Seligman, 1975). To the extent that animal and human helplessness are similar, childhood experiences of noncontingency between response and outcome, including socialization practices that encourage passivity and dependency, should increase a woman's vulnerability to developing learned helplessness in a battering relationship.



Walker Cycle Theory of Violence

The Walker Cycle Theory of Violence (Walker, 1979) is a tension reduction theory which states that there are three distinct phases associated in a recurring battering cycle: 1) the tension building, 2) the acute battering incident, and 3) loving contrition. During the first phase, there is a gradual escalation of tension displayed by discrete acts causing increased friction such as name calling, other mean intentional behaviors, and/or physical abuse. The batterer expresses dissatisfaction and hostility but not in an extreme or maximally explosive form. The woman attempts to placate the batterer, doing what she thinks might please him, calm him down, or at least, what will not further aggravate him. She tries not to respond to his hostile actions and uses general anger reduction techniques. Often she succeeds for a little while which reinforces her








35

unrealistic belief that she can control this man. It also becomes part of the unpredictable noncontingency response/outcome pattern which creates the "learned helplessness".

"Phase two is characterized by the uncontrollable

discharge of the tensions that have built up during phase one" (p.59). The batterer typically unleashes a barrage of verbal and physical aggression that can leave the woman severely shaken and injured. In fact, when injuries do occur it usually happens during this second phase. It is also the time police become involved, if they are called at all. The acute battering phase is concluded when the batterer stops, usually bringing with its cessation a sharp physiological reduction in tension.

In phase three which follows, the batterer may

apologize profusely, try to assist his victim, show kindness and remorse, and shower her with gifts and/or promises. The batterer may believe at this point that he will never allow himself to be violent again. The woman wants to believe the batterer and, early in the relationship at least, may renew her hope in his ability to change. This third phase provides the positive reinforcement for remaining in the relationship, for the woman.








36

Does the Violence End?

The question, "Why don't battered women leave?" is

based on the assumption that leaving will end the violence. While this may be true for some women who leave after the first or second incident, even the smoothness of those separations depends on the abuser's sense of desperation or abandonment and his willingness or tendency to do harm when faced with an outcome he does not want or cannot control. The longer the relationship continues, and the more investment in it by both partners, the more difficult it becomes for a woman to leave an abusive man safely. Some estimates suggest that at least 50 % of women who leave their abusers are followed and harassed or further attacked by them (Moore, 1979).

Abused women's primary fear, that their abusers will

find them and retaliate against their leaving, is justified. Some women who have left an abusive partner have been followed and harassed for months or even years; some have been killed (Lindsey, 1978; Martin, 1976; Pagelow, 1980, 1981). The evidence suggests that, in many cases, the man's violence continues to escalate after a separation (Fields, 1978; Fiora-Gormally, 1978; Lewin, 1979; Pagelow, 1980, 1981).

Violent men do search desperately for their partners once the woman leaves (Ewing, Lindsey, & Pomerantz, 1984). Often, they spend days and nights calling her family and








37

mutual acquaintances; phoning her place of employment or showing up there; driving around the streets looking for her; haunting school grounds, playgrounds, and grocery stores. They may nearly kill their mates, but they do not want to lose them.

For many battered women, leaving their mates and living in constant fear of reprisal or death seems more intolerable than remaining, despite their fears of further harm. Women in hiding relate how they are afraid to go into their apartment when they get home; to go to work in the morning or to leave at night; to approach their car in a parking lot; to visit friends (Browne, 1987). They know if their estranged partners find them, he may simply retaliate and not wait to talk. Shelter personnel who work with battered women struggle against their frustration when women return to their abusers; yet in many cases, the women are simply overwhelmed.



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Another important concept worth understanding is the recognized diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which battered women, like many Vietnam war veterans, may develop. Those who study PTSD have found that, after experiencing severe and unexpected trauma, or being repeatedly and unpredictably exposed to abuse, most people tend to develop certain psychological symptoms that continue








38

to affect their ability to function long after the original trauma. They may believe they are helpless, lacking power to change their situation.

This brief presentation of the diverse theoretical perspectives is an indication of the extremely complex problem of woman-battering. Given the overlap of so many theories, Walker (1980a) proposes a multi-deterministic theoretical orientation for explaining causality of woman battering. After reviewing over 160 theoretical and incidence studies, Lystad (1975) arrived at a similar conclusion. He believed that a comprehensive theory of domestic violence must take into account factors at the psychological, social, and cultural levels.

This study attempts to provide an answer to the

question of why victims of conjugal violence stay with their husbands by focusing on various aspects of the family and family experience which distinguish between women who are victims of spousal abuse and those that are not.



The Circumplex Model

Viewed against the background of domestic violence,

models of family functioning which can explain and predict the behavior of its members are of great importance. One such model that has been developed for this purpose is that of Olson, Sprenkle and Russell (1979).

Starting in the middle 1970's, Olson and his associates








39

began work on a model of marital and family systems. Their model building began out of a sense of frustration over an ever-growing list of concepts that were being developed in the family systems field. In one article (Olson et al., 1979), they list over 45 concepts which describe various family processes. Perceiving a need for synthesis, they identified what appeared to be two central concepts, cohesiveness and adaptability. In addition, they proposed a third dimension: family communication, which is considered to be a facilitating dimension in that it enables couples and families to move on the cohesion and adaptability dimensions. Olson and his colleagues developed the Family Cohesion and Adaptability Scale (FACES) to assess the cohesion and adaptability dimensions of their model and this will be reviewed in detail later.



Marital and Family Cohesion

Family cohesion is defined as, "The emotional bonding members have with one another and the degree of individual autonomy a person experiences in the family system" (Olson et al., 1979, p. 5). Within the Circumplex Model, some of the specific concepts or variables that can be used to diagnose and measure the family cohesion dimensions are: emotional bonding, boundaries, coalitions, time, space, friends, decision-making, interests, and recreation.

There are four levels of cohesion, ranging from








40

disengaged (very low) to separated (low to moderate) to connected (moderate to high) to enmeshed (very high). It is hypothesized that the central levels of cohesion (separated and connected) make for optimal family functioning. The extremes (disengaged or enmeshed) are generally seen as problematic.

Many families that seek treatment often fall into one of these extremes (Olson, 1989). When cohesion levels are high (enmeshed systems), there is too much consensus within the family and too little independence. At the other extreme (disengaged systems), family members "do their own thing," with limited attachment or commitment to their family. In the model's central area (separated and connected), individuals are able to experience and balance these two extremes and are able to be both independent from and connected to their families.

A disengaged relationship often has extreme emotional separateness. There is little involvement among family members and there is a lot of personal separateness and independence. People often do their own thing and have separate interests.

A separated relationship has some emotional

separateness but it is not as extreme as the disengaged system. While time apart is important, there is some together and some joint decisions. Activities and interests are generally separate but a few are shared. A connected








41

relationship has some emotional closeness and loyalty to the relationship. Time together is more important than time apart to be by oneself. There is an emphasis on togetherness. While there are separate friends, there are also friends shared by the couple. There are often shared interests.

In the enmeshed relationship, there is an extreme amount of emotional closeness and loyalty is demanded. Persons are very dependent on each other and reactive to one another. There is a general lack of personal separateness and little private space is permitted. The energy of the persons is mainly focused inside the marriage or family and there are few outside individual friends or interests.

Based on the Circumplex Model, high levels of cohesion (enmeshed) and low levels of cohesion (disengaged) might be problematic for relationships. On the other hand, relationships having moderate scores (separated and connected) are able to balance being alone versus together in a more functional way. Although there is no absolute best level for any relationship, some may have problems if they always function at either extreme.



Marital and Family Adaptability

Family adaptability is defined as, "The ability of a

marital or family system to change its power structure, role relationships and relationships rules in response to








42

situational and developmental stress" (Olson et al., 1979, p. 12). The concepts used to describe, measure, and diagnose couples and families on this dimension include: family power, negotiation styles, role relationships and relationship rules.

The four levels of adaptability range from rigid (very low) to structured (low to moderate) to flexible (moderate to high) to chaotic (very high). As with cohesion, it is hypothesized that central levels of adaptability (structured and flexible) are more conducive to marital and family functioning, with the extremes (rigid and chaotic) being the most problematic for families as they move through the family life cycle.

Basically, adaptability focuses on the ability of the marital and family system to change. Much of the early application of systems theory to families emphasized the rigidity of the family and its tendency to maintain the status quo. Until the work of recent theorists, the importance of potential for change was minimized. Couples and families need both stability and change and the ability to change when appropriate distinguishes functional couples and families from others.

Marriages and families can range from having a rigid and authoritarian leader to being chaotic and erratic or limited leadership. A rigid relationship is where one person is highly controlling. The roles are strictly defined and








43

the rules do not change. A structured relationship is overall less rigid. Leadership is somewhat less authoritarian and controlling, and is shared between the parents. Roles are stable, but there is some sharing of roles. There are a few rule changes, but not a lot of change. A flexible relationship is even less rigid. Leadership is more equally shared. Roles are sometimes shared and rules could change. A chaotic relationship has erratic or limited leadership. Decisions are impulsive and not well thought out. Roles are unclear and often shift from person to person.

Based on the Circumplex Model, very high levels of

change (chaotic) and very low levels of change (rigid) might be problematic for a marriage and family. On the other hand, relationships having moderate scores (structured and flexible) are able to balance some change and some stability in a more functional way. Although there is no absolute best level for any relationship, many relationships may have problems if they always function at either extreme.



Marital and Family Communication

Family communication is the third dimension in the Circumplex Model, and is considered a facilitating dimension. Communication is considered critical for facilitating couples and families to move on the other two dimensions. Because it is a facilitating dimension,








44

communication is not graphically included in the model along with cohesion and adaptability.

Positive communication skills enable couples and

families to share with each other their changing needs and preferences as they relate to cohesion and adaptability. Negative communication skills minimize the ability of a couple or family members to share their feelings and, thereby, restrict their movement on these dimensions.

The Circumplex Model provides a framework for

describing types of couples and families. There are four levels of cohesion and four levels of adaptability and putting them together forms sixteen cells or types of families. Once couples or families have been placed into one of the sixteen types, it becomes possible to reduce the sixteen types to three more global types: Balanced, Mid-Range, and Extreme. Balanced families are those that fall into the two central cells of both cohesion and adaptability. Mid-range families are those that fall into one of the extreme cells on one dimension and central cell on the other dimension. Extreme families are those that fall into an extreme cell on both dimensions.

It is important to elaborate on what Olson and colleagues imply with their definition of balanced. According to Olson and his colleagues (1983), being balanced means that a family system can experience the extremes on the dimension when appropriate but that they do not








45

typically function at these extremes for long periods of time. Families in the balanced area of the cohesion dimension allow family members to experience being both independent and connected to their family. Both extremes are tolerated and expected, but the family does not continually function at the extreme. Conversely, extreme family types tend to function only at the extremes and are not encouraged to change the way they function as a family. Accordingly, Olson and his associates predict several other hypotheses that follow from this model. First, balanced family types have a larger behavioral repertoire and are more able to change compared with extreme family types. This could infer a plausible explanation of why women would remain in abusive relationships, i.e. they cannot find an alternative response. Second, to deal with situational stress and developmental changes across the life cycle, balanced families will change their cohesion and adaptability, whereas extreme families will resist change over time. This hypothesis deals with change in the family system to deal with stress or to accommodate changes in family members, particularly as family members alter their expectations. The Circumplex Model is dynamic in that it assumes that individuals and family systems will change, and it hypothesizes that change can be beneficial to the maintenance and improvement of family functioning (Olson et al., 1983).








46

When one family member desires change, the family

system must deal with that request. For example, increasing numbers of married women want to develop more autonomy from their husbands (cohesion dimension) and also want more power and equality in their relationships (adaptability dimension). If their husbands are unwilling to understand and change in accordance with these expectations, the marriages will probably experience increased amounts of stress. One can carry this over to the plight of a battered woman and can infer that the system could not adequately fluctuate to such changes.

It is also imperative that we link the Circumplex Model to what is known about relationships in violent families. The rights of individuals in the family unit become blurred, and the whole family is considered to be an entity in itself. There usually is some ambivalence regarding this bonding, with the intimacy being broken at times when an individual's needs become strong enough to conflict with the survival of the common family unit. Abusive relationships within the family may actually add to the cohesiveness. An interesting theory of traumatic bonding has been suggested by Dutton (1980). The familiar sense of shame and guilt binds them together, and no one seems able to establish psychological independence (Walker, 1981).








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Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scales

To assess a family's degree of cohesiveness and

adaptability Olson, Bell and Portner (1978) developed the Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scales (FACES). By indicating their degree of agreement with statements concerning their family's interactions, a family is evaluated on the issues which serve to define the dimensions of the model.

In the first version of the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale, FACES I, (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russell, 1979), the two extremes of cohesion were labeled enmeshment and disengagement. A curvilinear relationship between cohesion and family functioning was hypothesized. The hypothesis has been maintained in later versions: FACES II (Olson, Portner, & Bell, 1982) and FACES III (Olson, Portner, & Lavee, 1985). According to Green and colleagues (Green, Harris, Forte, & Robinson, 1991a) "literally hundreds of research projects in the past decade" (p.55) have been based on the various versions of FACES.

In this study, FACES II is used due to the advantages it has over FACES III, the more recent version of FACES. These advantages will be discussed in detail in Chapter III. FACES II also enables the researcher to account for one's ideal expectations for relationships as well as one's current perceptions.









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Implications of This Study

The benefit of representing these scores according to the Circumplex model is that a conceptual framework is provided in order to assess family system functioning on two fundamental dimensions of family organization, cohesion and adaptability. Consequently, clinicians can guide their treatment planning to strengthen particular components of functioning toward clearly specified and realistic objectives.

For those women assessed at either Extreme on the

dimensions, intervention strategies can be targeted to fit their particular pattern of organization and to guide change, in a stepwise progression, toward a more Balanced system. According to Olson (1983), a reachable goal for cases of severe and chronic dysfunction, would be the achievement of higher functioning at the next, adjacent pattern, such as a shift from disengaged to separated or from enmeshed to connected. A common therapeutic error with severe dysfunction is to assume either that patterns are unchangeable or that change toward the opposite pattern is necessary and desirable.

Olson (1993) found that severely dysfunctional families often assumed such extreme all-or-none positions regarding change. They are more likely to alternate between feelings of hopelessness that any change can occur and unrealistic expectations for goals that are unlikely to be met.








49

For example, in families with extremely rigid interactional patterns, leadership tends to be authoritarian, with one or both parents highly controlling. Discipline is typically autocratic, based on a simplistic principle of "law and order," and consequences are strict, even harsh, without leniency. Negotiations tend to be limited, with decisions imposed by parents, often arbitrarily, or by applying a single solution to all problems regardless of its applicability. Rigid families have a very limited repertoire of roles, which are strictly defined and inflexible. Rules are unbending and strictly enforced. These tendencies prevent the family from making adaptive changes when confronted by new circumstances and demands.

Applying the Circumplex Model, we would propose that therapy with rigid families target interventions to shift their organization to the structured range on the family adaptability dimension. Leadership, while still primarily authoritarian, would become less controlling and more egalitarian. Discipline would become somewhat more democratic, with consequences predictable, although still seldom lenient. Roles would be stable, with somewhat greater flexibility and sharing. Rules would allow for few changes and be firmly, yet less strictly, enforced.

The chief therapeutic task with rigid families is to

promote the interaction flexibility that is lacking. Tasks








50

that facilitate more open communication, negotiated decision making, and experimental problem solving can be useful. At the same time, it is crucial to maintain stability in the family. A common clinical error with extremely rigid families is to push for too much change too fast, which typically only heightens these families' resistance to change.

In addition, the implications of this study serve to reinforce the need to address how women are socialized and what their belief systems are regarding sex roles. Social psychology theories are helpful in understanding the relationship between violence and sex roles (Walker, 1981). Females are socialized into roles that encourage their dependence on men. They are taught to be nurturing, compliant, and passive. At the same time, they are not taught effective responses to men's violence against them. Males are socialized into roles that encourage both dependence on and aggression toward females. Their role is to be intelligent, rational, and strong as well as the economic provider for their families. Their promised reward is a wife who will take care of their emotional needs and accept the expression of their frustrations. The outcome of such sex role socialization is reflected in high battering statistics (Walker, 1979). In a study of wife abuse, Strauss (1976) concluded that wife abuse is a reflection of the cultural norms of our society which legitimize marital








51

violence and the sexist organization of both society and the family system. Along those same lines, Strauss et al. (1980) further suggested that sex role conditioning teaches men to express this violent response against their wives.

Whitehurst (1974) described a clash of ideologies

between traditional, conservative, patriarchal husbands and non-traditional liberal wives as being at the root of marital violence. In addition, it has been suggested (Gayford, 1975; Roy, 1977) that experiencing child abuse or witnessing parental spouse abuse in the family of origin predisposes the husband to follow the role model that he learned in childhood. Similar experiences may predispose the wife to tolerate the abuse that she may have legitimized as a normal, expected aspect of married life (Fotjik, 19771978; Gayford, 1975; Gelles,1974; Roy, 1977). In this study 50.6% of the women reported violence in their family of origin.

Presented in this review of the related literature was a model of family interactions which focuses on two major dimensions as methods for classifying families. This model specifies both functional and dysfunctional patterns of behavior. This study will attempt to demonstrate a difference in levels of cohesion and adaptability as they relate to current perceptions and ideal expectations for a marital relationship. Specifically, this study will provide support for the notion that battered women will have








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dysfunctional current relationships as they will fall into the Extreme type according to the Circumplex Model. Moreover, this study predicts that these current relationships will fall into the rigidly-disengaged subtype on the model. This would be a family who on the cohesion dimension is disengaged, where family members "do their own thing," with limited attachment or commitment to their family. A disengaged relationship is one with extreme emotional separateness and little involvement among family members. There is alot of personal separateness and independence. On the adaptability dimension, this would be a rigid relationship where one person is highly controlling. The roles are strictly defined and the rules do not change. An additional hypothesis of this study is that the battered woman's ideal ratings will also be dysfunctional, but at the opposing end from rigidly-disengaged. Specifically, it is predicted that the ideal scores will fall into the very flexible-very connected subtype, also referred to as "chaotically enmeshed". This would be a family who on the cohesion dimension is enmeshed, there is extreme emotional closeness and loyalty is demanded. There is a lack of personal separateness and all energy is focused on the marital relationship. On the adaptability dimension, this would be a family with erratic or limited leadership where decisions are impulsive and not well thought out. Roles are unclear and often shift.














CHAPTER III

METHODOLOGY

The purpose of this study was to explore a battered

woman's current perceptions of her relationship as well as her ideal expectations for such in regards to levels of adaptability and cohesion. The research methodology that was used in the investigation is presented in this chapter. The research design, hypotheses, participants, instrumentation, procedures, data collection, data analysis and limitations will be discussed.



Population and Sample

Because a definition for battered women has not yet

been universally agreed upon by researchers and because it is difficult to measure the severity of one's abuse, two different groups of battered women were included in this study. The first population was battered women who were staying at the Dade County Women in Distress Shelter (SafeSpace) or at the group home (AFTA). The second population of battered women came from both the Broward County women in Distress Shelter and their outpatient therapy group. As is common with battered women's shelters throughout the United States, at times this shelter operates at capacity and


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places women's names on a waiting list for admission. In the case of a woman facing imminent potential for severe violence, this shelter works with other shelters for immediate placement and, via law enforcement or other avenues, transports the woman to a distant shelter.

Battered women came to this shelter following telephone contact with the shelter to determine that they meet the criteria for admission. The admissions criteria for each shelter is the same: the women must have been recently battered and be in need of safe shelter without available refuge. Battered women are admitted to the shelter any time of day or night, any day of the week, depending on when they seek assistance. Many women who seek help from the shelter have exhausted financial and familial support.

Many of the women who come to shelters heard about the services via an intervening police officer, public service advertising, a friend or family, or the advertised battered women's hotlines. Referrals to the shelters can come from the emergency rooms of the hospitals in the area. In addition, other referrals are made by the community crisis hotlines, police, clergy, rape crisis programs, women's health care clinics, and university and medical communities.

To be included in this study, the women must have been battered and must have completed eight years of schooling according to their response on intake forms. The eight years of schooling was deemed an appropriate indication of a








55

baseline ability to read and understand the instruments.



Instrumentation

Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scales

FACES II, an acronym for Family Adaptability and

Cohesion Evaluation Scales, was developed by Olson, Bell and Portner (1981) to tap cohesion and adaptability. During the initial development of FACES II, 464 adults responded to 90 items. The average age of the respondents was 30.5. The 90 items covered the 15 content areas of cohesion and adaptability with six items per content area, some of which were items of the original FACES. On the basis of factor analysis and reliability analysis, the initial scale was reduced to 50 items. The 50 items of this initial FACES II were administered to 2,412 individuals in a national survey (Olson et al., 1983). On the basis of factor analysis and reliability analysis, the 50-item scale was reduced to 30 items with 2-3 items for each of the 14 content areas.

The final version of FACES II is a 30-item scale

containing 16 cohesion items and 14 adaptability items (see Appendix E). There were two items for the following eight concepts related to the cohesion dimension: emotional bonding, family boundaries, coalitions, time, space, friends, decision-making, and interests and recreation. There were two or three items for the six concepts related to the adaptability dimensions: assertiveness, leadership,








56

discipline, negotiations, roles and rules. FACES II provides an assessment of how individuals perceive their family system and also their ideal descriptions. The scores on cohesion and adaptability can be plotted onto the Circumplex Model to indicate the type of system they perceive and would like ideally. In addition, the perceived-ideal discrepancy also provides a measure of family satisfaction, which indicates how satisfied individuals are with their current family system regardless of their family type.

Ideally, the two dimensions in the Circumplex Model should be uncorrelated or orthogonal. Cohesion and adaptability in FACES II meets this criteria (r=.25). In addition, the correlation between adaptability and social desirability was reduced by the authors to (r=.39) with some correlation between social desirability and cohesion (r=.38). The internal reliability and test-retest reliability are consistently high (r=.80). In terms of validity, therapists and researchers have evaluated the items in terms of face validity and find them to meet acceptable criteria (Olson, 1989). The scales also demonstrated that they have discriminate validity in that they distinguish between clinical and non-clinical families (Olson, 1986). Further, the scales demonstrated concurrent validity. That is, other instruments which measure constructs similar to cohesion and adaptability have high








57

correlations with FACES II. Hampson, Hulgus and Beavers (1991) compared the Dallas Self-Report Family Inventory (SFI) with FACES II. They found the correlation between the SFI global measure of family health and the cohesion scale to be .93 and with the adaptability scale to be .79. A summary evaluation of FACES II in terms of reliability, validity, and clinical utility is provided in Appendix A.

According to Olson et al. (1979) very low or very high scores on the FACES are indicative of a dysfunctional family. Moderate scores on FACES are indicative of a functional family. Olson and associates also state that the adaptability and cohesion dimensions which form the model should be independent of each other.

Several studies have tested the major hypothesis that balanced family types are more functional than extreme types. Clarke (1984) found a very high level of extreme families among neurotic and schizophrenic groups compared to the no-therapy group. Conversely, he found a significant higher level of balanced families in the no-therapy group compared to the other groups.

Other studies have focused on alcoholic families in

which the identified patient was the mother or father. Using the original Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES), Olson and Killorin (1984) found significant differences between the chemically dependent families and the nondependent families. As hypothesized, alcoholic








58

families had a significantly higher level of extreme families compared to the nondependent families.

A more recent study by Carnes (1987) that used FACES II investigated the family systems in sex offenders and found high levels of extreme family types in both their family of origin and their current family.

Comparing 27 high risk families with 35 low risk

families, Garbarino, Sebes, and Schellenbach (1985) focused on the type of family systems using the original FACES scale. As hypothesized by the Circumplex Model, they found the majority of the low risk families were balanced types while the majority of the high risk families were an extreme type.

In addition, a recent study by Rodick, Henggler, and Hanson (1986) compared 58 mother-son dyads from fatherabsent families in which half had an adolescent juvenile offender and the other half had adolescents with no history of arrest or psychiatric referral. The results concluded that only 7% of the delinquents were balanced while 93% of the delinquent families were mid-range or extreme types. In contrast, 69% of the nondelinquent families were balanced while 31% were mid-range or extreme.

In summary, these studies of clinical samples clearly demonstrate the discriminant power of the Circumplex Model in distinguishing between problem families and nonsymptomatic families. There is strong empirical support








59

for the hypothesis that balanced types of families are more functional than extreme family types.



Data Collection Procedures

Data from both groups were collected by either a

trained, full-time staff person from the shelter or by the researcher herself. The investigator met individually with each of the selected staff persons to train them in the procedures. Training involved the following components: 1) use of the letter introduction to the subject inviting participation, 2) determination that potential subject meets criteria for inclusion, 3) obtaining informed consent, 4) benefits/risks of participation, 5) methods to assure confidentiality, 6) instrument and instructions, 7) answering questions during administration, 8) procedures for follow-up contact, and 9) recording of data. The investigator monitored the data collection throughout the period by contact with the trained personnel and the shelter staff, and the review of the data as they were being collected. Additionally, personnel collecting the data could call the investigator at any time.

Each woman volunteering to participate in the study was given a packet which included an introduction letter, instructions for the instrument, the instrument, and a demographic questionnaire (see Appendix A).

Participants' names were not placed on the instruments








60

to ensure confidentiality. Each packet was given a code number so as to identify from which group the data was obtained.

FACES II was administered to the participants in this study independently and participants completed the scale either during the course of their outpatient treatment or during their stay at the Broward County Women in Distress Shelter or Dade County Women in Distress Shelter. The instrument was used in this study to assess family adaptability and cohesion --the two independent variables -by ascertaining battered women's perceptions and expectations of how their family should function.

First the individual scores on adaptability and

cohesion for both the "perceived" (how the respondents feel the family is now) and "ideal" (how the respondents would like the family to be) were calculated. These scores provide us with the individual placements on the Circumplex which we then plot to obtain a graphic picture of the family.



Hypotheses/Data Analysis

This study posed the following hypotheses:

1. Battered women's perceptions of their current

relationships will be extreme according to the Circumplex Model.

2. Battered women's perceptions of their current

relationships will fall into the rigidly-disengaged subtype.








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3. Battered women's expectations for their ideal

relationship will be extreme according to the Circumplex Model.

4. Battered women's expectations for their ideal

relationship will fall into the very connected-very flexible (chaotically-enmeshed) subtype.

5. There will be no significant differences between a subject's current score and her ideal score.

6. There will be no significant differences between the Dade and Broward samples.

The first five hypotheses were tested using chi-square analysis. The authors of FACES recommend looking at the data on FACES as categorical in nature and therefore argue that chi-square is the most appropriate statistic to use with this instrument (Olson, et al., 1979). The chi-square technique was used to evaluate the relative frequencies that the FACES II scores of the battered women from both groups were placed in the balanced versus extreme ranges on the Circumplex Model as well as into which specific subtypes they were classified. For purposes of this analysis, the balanced typology represented moderate scores on the cohesion and adaptability scales, while the chaotically disengaged, chaotically enmeshed, rigidly disengaged, and rigidly enmeshed typologies constituted extreme scores.

Hypothesis number six was also analyzed using chisquare, but several of the tests were not valid because








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comparing some of the demographics resulted in expected cell frequencies that were less than five. Chi-square is not an accurate assessment when this is the case. Hypothesis six was also analyzed using a t-test, but again this may not have been a valid choice as the data was not continuous in nature. An alpha level for significance was established at .05 as a conventional level of significance.














CHAPTER IV

RESULTS



Sample Characteristics

The total sample included 79 women. The Broward group consisted of 62 women, constituting 78.5% of the total sample, while the Dade group consisted of 17 women, who constituted the remaining 21.5% of the sample. Women from a shelter population comprised 72%, while the remaining 27.8% were drawn from an outpatient group in Broward County.





A breakdown of the study participants by age and county appears in Table 4-1. The sample was predominantly in their twenties and thirties (80%) with the mean age being 31.28 years (SD=7.83). This age profile is quite similar to shelter samples from other research (see Appendix B). A more specific breakdown follows: 48% fall within the 21-29 year age bracket, 24.7% are between 30 and 35 years of age, 11.7% are between 36 and 40 years of age, 9.1% are between 41 and 45 years of age, and the remaining 6.5% are between 46 and 48 years of age. A t-test was conducted to determine if there were significant differences between the Dade and


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Broward women regarding age and found that the two groups did not significantly differ, t=1.17, df=26.49, p=.25. Therefore, there were no significant differences regarding age between the Dade and Broward women.



Table 4-1

Age of Sample



Broward Dade Total

Group Group Sample

n % n % n %



21-25 19 (30.7) 3 (20) 22 (28.6) 26-30 10 (16) 8 (53.3) 18 (23.4) 31-35 14 (22.6) 2 (13.4) 16 (20.8) 36-40 8 (12.8) 1 (6.7) 9 (11.7) 41-45 6 (9.6) 1 (6.7) 7 (9.1) 46-50 5 (8) 0 (0.0) 5 (6.5)





Race

The vast majority of the sample was non-white (64.5%), which is somewhat common for samples including inner city shelters (e.g., Snyder & Fruchtman, 1981; Snyder & Scheer, 1981; see Appendix C). More specifically, Black women comprised 55.3% of the total sample, Hispanic women made up








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9.2% of the sample and the remaining 35.5% were Caucasian. In the Dade sample the breakdown was: 75% Black, 12.5% Caucasian, and 12.5% Hispanic. However, in the Broward sample, Blacks comprised only 50% of the sample, Hispanics 8.3% and the remaining 41.7% was Caucasian (see Table 4-2). The researcher ran a chi-square analysis to determine if the racial differences between the samples were statistically significant. This analysis indicated that although looking at the data there seemed to be differences regarding race between the samples, these differences were not statistically significant, X2=4.69, df=2, p=.10. Therefore, there are no significant differences regarding race between the samples.



Table 4-2

Race of Sample



Broward Dade Total

Group Group Sample

n (%) n (%) n (%)



Black 30 (50) 12 (75) 42 (55.3) Hispanic 5 (8.3) 2 (12.5) 7 (9.2) White 25 (41.7) 2 (12.5) 27 (35.5)








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Employment

The majority of the women were employed, 63.6% while the remaining 36.4% were unemployed. Looking at the data, there seemed to be differences between the Broward and Dade groups with 68.9% of the Broward group being employed while only 43.8% of the Dade group reported holding a job (see Table 4-3). To determine if these differences were statistically significant, the researcher ran a chi-square analysis. This analysis indicated that these differences were not statistically significant, X2=2.5, df=l, p=.ll. Therefore, although there appeared to be differences upon initial sight of the data, chi-square analysis indicated that there are no significant differences regarding employment between the two samples.



Table 4-3

Employment of Sample



Broward Dade Total

Group Group Sample

n % n % n %



Employed 42 (68.9) 7 (43.8) 49 (63.6) Unemployed 19 (31.1) 9 (56.3) 28 (36.4)








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Education

Overall, the majority of the women had sought

postsecondary education with 48.6% having some college education. An additional 36.5% of the women went to school through 12th grade and the remaining 14.9% had attended some high school, but dropped out prior to completion (see Table 4-4). A chi-square analysis to determine if there were significant differences regarding education between the Dade and Broward women would have produced expected cell frequencies of less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results.

In an effort to avoid expected cell frequencies of five or less, this researcher collapsed the original variable of education, consisting of six discrete categories, into a new variable, consisting of two categories: 1) participants with college experience and 2) participants with a high-school diploma or less. This chi-square analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women regarding education, x2=.17, df=l, p=.68.








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Table 4-4

Education of Sample



Broward Dade Total Grade Group Group Sample Completed n % n % n %



07 1 (1.7) 0 (0.0) 1 (1.4) 09 4 (6.8) 0 (0.0) 4 (5.4) 10 3 (5.1) 1 (6.7) 4 (5.4) 11 2 (3.4) 0 (0.0) 2 (2.7) 12 22 (37.3) 5 (33.3) 27 (36.5) Some College 27 (45.8) 9 (60.0) 36 (48.6)





Children

The participants' numbers of children are categorized in Table 4-5. The average number of children for the total sample was 1.83 (SD=1.25). Two women had 6 children, Four women had 4 children, Fourteen women had 3 children and 58 women had one or two. Only one woman reported having no children. A t-test was conducted to determine if there were significant differences between the Dade and Broward women reagrding the number of children participants had and found that the groups did not significnatly differ in this reagrd, t=.28, df=22, p=.78.








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Table 4-5

Number of Children



Broward Dade Total

Group Group Sample

n % n % n %



0 5 (8.1) 4 (25.0) 9 (11.5) 1 23 (37.1) 2 (12.5) 25 (32.1) 2 18 (29.0) 6 (37.5) 24 (30.8) 3 12 (19.4) 2 (12.5) 14 (17.9)

4 2 (3.2) 2 (12.5) 4 (5.1) 6 2 (3.2) 0 (0.0) 2 (2.6)





Income

The majority of the women (51.6%) reported an average annual income of below $15,000. Twenty-eight point one percent of the women reported an income of between $15,000 and $30,000 and the remaining 20.3% of the women reported an income of over $30,000. There were also differences between groups, with 64% of the Dade group earning under $5,000 while only 16% of the Broward group fell into this range. Contrastingly, 44% of the Broward group were making over $20,000 while only 14.3% of the Dade group were in this








70

range. In terms of the womens' personal contribution to this income, 64.6% contributed to less than half of their family's income while 35.4 contributed over half (see Table 4-6). A chi-square analysis to determine if there were significant differences regarding income between the Dade and Broward women would have produced expected cell frequencies of less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results.

In an effort to avoid expected cell frequencies of five or less, this researcher collapsed the original variable of income, consisting of seven discrete categories, into a new variable, consisting of two categories: 1) participants with an income of $5,000 or less and 2) participants with an income of more than $5,000. However, this chi-square analysis would also have produced expected cell frequencies that were less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results.








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Table 4-6

Income of Sample



Broward Dade Total

Group Group Sample

n % n % n %



$5,000 or less 8 (16.0) 9 (64.3) 17 (26.6) $5,001-$10,000 3 (6.0) 2 (14.3) 5 (7.8) $10,001-$15,000 11 (22.0) 0 (0.0) 11 (17.2) $15,001-$20,000 6 (12.0) 1 (7.1) 7 (10.9) $20,001-$25,000 7 (14.0) 0 (0.0) 7 (10.9) $25,001-$30,000 4 (8.0) 0 (0.0) 4 (6.3) $30,001 and up 11 (22.0) 2 (14.3) 13 (20.3)





Characteristics of Abuse

The women responded to various questions about the

abuse they had suffered. Regarding how long the women were in their last abusive relationship: 15.8% had been in the relationship less than a year, another 15.8% had been in the relationship between 1 and 2 years, 39.5% had been in the relationship between 2.1 and 5 years, 6.6% had been in the relationship between 5.1 and 7 years, and 22.4% had been in for more than 7 years (see Table 4-7). A chi-square








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analysis to determine if there were significant differences regarding length in the past abusive relationship between the Dade and Broward women would have produced expected cell frequencies of less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results.

In an effort to avoid expected cell frequencies of five or less, this researcher collapsed the original variable of length of time in the past abusive relationship, consisting of five discrete categories, into a new variable, consisting of two categories: 1) participants who were in this relationship for two years or less and 2) participants in this relationship for more than two years. This chi-square analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Browrad women regarding the length of time in the last abusive relationship, X2=.63, df=l, p=.43.

The women also reported how many different occasions

they had been struck by their partner and the responses were the following: 44.2% had been struck 1 to 5 times, 13% were between 6 and 10, 7.8% were between 11 and 15, 5.2% were between 16 and 20, and 29.9% had been struck greater than 20 times (see Table 4-8). A chi-square analysis to determine if there were significant differences in this regard would have produced expected cell frequencies of less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results.








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In an effort to avoid expected cell frequencies of five or less, this researcher collapsed the original variable of the number of times particpants were struck by their partner, consisting of five discrete categories, into a new variable, consisting of two categories: 1) participants who were struck by their mate between one and five times and 2) participants who were struck by their mate six or more times. This chi-square analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Browrad women regarding the number of times they were struck by their mates, X2=1.01, df=l, p=.32.



Table 4-7

Length of Abuse



Broward Dade Total

Group Group Sample

n % n % n %



< 1 year 9 (14.5) 3 (21.4) 12 (15.8) 1-2 years 8 (12.9) 4 (28.6) 12 (15.8) 2.1-5 years 27 (43.5) 3 (21.4) 30 (39.5) 5.1-7 years 5 (8.1) 0 (0.0) 5 (6.6) 7.1 or more 13 (21.0) 4 (28.6) 17 (22.4)








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Table 4-8

Frequency of Violence



Broward Dade Total # of times Group Group Sample struck n % n % n %



1-5 29 (47.5) 5 (31.3) 34 (44.2) 6-10 7 (11.5) 3 (18.8) 10 (13.0) 11-15 2 (3.3) 4 (25.0) 6 (7.8) 16-20 4 (6.6) 0 (0.0) 4 (5.2) > than 20 19 (31.1) 4 (25.0) 23 (29.9)





Information concerning when this abusive relationship had ended, or if it had ended provided the following results: 7.8% reported that the abuse was still ongoing, 68.8% of the women reported the relationship ending less than a year ago, 14.3% were between 1 and 3 years, and 9.1% were more than 3 years (see Table 4-9). The researcher ran a chi-square analysis to determine if there were significant differences in regards to when the abuse had ended between the Dade and Broward women. This analysis indicated that there were no significant differences between the groups, X2=4.02, df=3, p=.26. Therefore, there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward samples in their








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responses to questions concerning when or if the abuse had ended.



Table 4-9

When Abuse Ended



Broward Dade Total

Group Group Sample

n % n % n %



< 1 year 40 (64.5) 13 (86.7) 53 (68.8) 1-3 years 9 (14.5) 2 (13.3) 7 (11.3) > 3 years 7 (11.3) 0 (0.0) 7 (9.1) Still Ongoing 6 (9.7) 0 (0.0) 6 (7.8)





Information concerning how many abusive relationships

these women had been in prior to this one found that for the majority of this sample (56.6%), this was their first abusive relationship. The average number of prior abusive relationships for the total sample was .82 (SD=1.51). Another 38.1% of the sample had been in one or two before, one subject had been in 4, two participants had been in 6, and one subject reported having been in 9 in the past (see Table 4-10). A t-test was conducted to determine if there were significant differences between the Dade and Broward








76

women regarding the number of past abusive relationships participants had endured. This analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women, t=1.26, df=74, p=.21.

The final question concerned whether or not there was abuse in their family of origin. This seemed to be an even split as 50.6% reported there was some kind of abuse in their family of origin and the remaining 49.4% reported none. To determine if there were significant differences between the Dade and Broward women, chi-square analysis was run. This analysis indicated that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women regarding abuse in thier family of origin, X2=.01, df=l, p=.96. Table 4-10

Past Abusive Relationships



Broward Dade Total # of past Group Group Sample relationships n % n % n %



none 34 (54.8) 9 (64.3) 43 (56.6) 1 16 (25.8) 5 (35.7) 21 (27.6) 2 8 (12.9) 0 (0.0) 8 (10.5)

4 1 (1.6) 0 (0.0) 1 (1.3) 6 2 (3.2) 0 (0.0) 2 (2.6) 9 1 (1.6) 0 (0.0) 1 (1.3)








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Analysis of Hypotheses One Through Six

The first hypothesis was that there would be no

significant difference in the family type scores of the battered women. The obtained Z2=89.65, df=2, was significant, p<.0001 (see Table 4-11). Therefore, regarding their current relationship perceptions, a significant number of battered women are falling into the extreme family type.



Table 4-11

Observed and Expected Freauencies of Individual Participants Falling In Each of Three Possible Family Types



Extreme Mid-Range Balanced Expected 26.33 26.33 26.33 Observed 66 7 6 Residual 39.67 -19.33 -20.33




The first condition of the second hypothesis was that

on the cohesion dimension, their current relationships would be categorized as disengaged at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, Z2=76.66, df=2, p<.0001 (see Table 4-12). Therefore, women are classified as disengaged on the cohesion dimension more often than would be expected by chance.








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Table 4-12

Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of Three Possible Cohesion Categorizations



Disengaged Separated Enmeshed Expected 26.33 26.33 26.33 Observed 63 9 7 Residual 36.67 -17.33 -19.33





The second condition of this hypothesis was that on the adaptability dimension, their current relationships would be categorized as rigid at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, Z=177.46, df=3, p<.0001 (see Table 4-13). Therefore, women are classified as rigid on the adaptability dimension more often than would be expected by chance.


Table 4-13

Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of Four Possible Adaptability Categorizations



Rigid Structured Flexible Chaotic Expected 19.75 19.75 19.75 19.75 Observed 71 2 4 2 Residual 51.25 -17.75 -15.75 -17.75








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The main point of the second hypothesis was that

participants' current perceptions of their relationship could be categorized as rigidly-disengaged at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, X2=23.41, df=l, p<.0001 (see Table 4-14). Therefore, battered women's scores placed them in the rigidly-disengaged subtype more often than would be expected.



Table 4-14

Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of 16 Possible Combinations


Rigidly-Disengaged All Other Combinations Expected 39.50 39.50 Observed 61 18 Residual 21.50 -21.50




The third hypothesis was that battered women's expectations for their ideal relationship could be categorized as Extreme at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, Z2=43.85, df=2, p<.0001 (see Table 4-15). However, looking at the residuals between the observed and expected revealed that fewer individuals were falling into the extreme family type than what this








80

researcher had expected to find. The category that actually contributed most to the overall significant chi-square was the balanced family type. Therefore, this hypothesis was not supported.


Table 4-16

Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of Three Possible Family Types



Extreme Mid-Range Balanced


Expected 26.33 26.33 26.33 Observed 25 3 51 Residual -1.33 -23.33 24.67



The first condition of the fourth hypothesis was that

on the cohesion dimension, their ideal expectations would be categorized as enmeshed at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, Z2=23.03, df=3, p<.0001 (see Table 4-16). However, looking at the residuals between the observed and expected revealed that fewer individuals were falling into the enmeshed category than what this researcher had expected to find. The category that actually contributed most to the overall significant chi-square was the separated category. Therefore, this aspect of the fourth hypothesis was not supported.








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Table 4-16

Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of Four Possible Cohesion Categorizations


Disengaged Separated Connected Enmeshed Expected 19.75 19.75 19.75 19.75 Observed 27 2 29 21 Residual 7.25 -17.75 9.25 1.25



The second condition of the fourth hypothesis was that on the adaptability dimension, participants' ideal expectations would be categorized as chaotic at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicatd that the results were statistically significant, 2=55.33, df=3, p<.0001 (see Table 4-17). Therefore, women's ideal expectations along the adaptability dimension were categorized as chaotic at a better than chance frequency.



Table 4-17

Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of Four Possible Adaptability Categorizations


Rigid Structured Flexible Chaotic Expected 19.75 19.75 19.75 19.75 Observed 24 4 6 45 Residual 4.26 -15.75 -13.75 25.25








82

The main point of the fourth hypothesis was that

participants' ideal expectations for a marital relationship would fall into the chaotically-enmeshed subtype on the Circumplex Model at a better than chance frequency. Chisquare analysis indicated that the results were not statistically significant, 2'=4.35, df=2, p<.12 (see Table 4-18). These data do not support the fourth hypothesis. Table 4-18

Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of 16 Different Combinations


Chaotically- Rigidly- All
Enmeshed Disengaged Others Expected 26.33 26.33 26.33 Observed 21 23 35 Residual -3.33 -5.33 8.67



The fifth hypothesis was that there would be no

significant differences between participants' scores on their current perceptions and those for their ideal expectations. Olson and associates (1979) argued that one way to look at a person's satisfaction in her current relationship is to look at the discrepancy between these two scores. If the discrepancy is small, one may conclude that the person is satisfied with the state of his or her current relationship. A chi-square contingency test was attempted, but 7 out of the 9 cells did not have enough observations to








83

effectively use this test. However, what is worth noting is that 64 participants were categorized as Extreme on both their current and ideal scores.

The final hypothesis was that there would be no

significant differences in scores on FACES II between the Broward and Dade groups. A t-test was conducted and found that on the current perception responses, the two groups did not significantly differ, t=-.78, df=21.62, p<.444. Additionally, a chi-square analysis was conducted and also indicated that the two groups did not significantly differ, S=2.09, df=3, p<.55. However, in looking at responses to the ideal, it was found that there were significant differences between groups with the mean for the Broward group exceeding the mean for the Dade group, t=3.48, df=23.71, p<.002. Additionally, chi-square analysis was significant 2=11.87, df=2, p<003. Therefore, it can be concluded that scores for this version were significantly different between the groups. However, overall significant differences were found, as stated in prior hypotheses, despite the differences between the samples.



Summary of Findings

Maintaining the predictions, the participants' current perceptions were categorized as Extreme at a better than chance frequency. Further, these perceptions fell into the








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rigidly-disengaged subtype at a better than chance frequency, as predicted. However, contrasting the initial predictions, the women's ideal expectations were not categorized as Extreme and accordingly, did not fall into the chaotically-enmeshed subtype at a better than chance frequency. In terms of the participants' satisfaction with their relationship, measured by the discrepancy between their current and ideal scores, conclusions cannot safely be drawn as the conditions of the anlysis were violated. There were no significant differences found between the Dade and Broward women on the demographic variables. Additionally, there were no significnat differences found on the scores for their current perceptions. However, differences were found on the scores for their ideal expectations. These findings will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter five.














CHAPTER IV

DISCUSSION



Discussion of Results

The first prediction in this study was that battered

women's perceptions of their current relationships would be extreme according to the Circumplex Model. The data clearly supported this hypothesis. This particular finding is not surprising when one considers the state of a battering relationship. An extreme classification, as was described earlier, is a natural result of a relationship characterized with dysfunction and a lack of balance with regard to cohesion and adaptability. Olson and his associates (1979) have stated that extreme relationships are often problematic for their members.

The second prediction was that subjects' current

perceptions would be categorized as rigidly-disengaged. The data clearly supported this hypothesis. A rigidlydisengaged relationship is one in which there is extreme emotional separateness. Members often "do their own thing" and have separate interests. One person in the relationship is highly controlling and the roles are strictly defined so that rules never change. To illustrate the rigidly85








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disengaged relationship for this population, we need to describe its meaning in relational terms. As just stated, the rigid rules are usually clear to both parties. According to Walker, both the women and the men engage in manipulation of each other and of others who impinge on their relationships. The women assume responsibility for keeping the environment stress free, so as not to upset their batterer, while the batterer works on controlling the woman (Walker, 1981). The batterer needs to feel he has power over her so he uses possessive behavior and demands to know everything she thinks about and does. Batterers do not trust their women to make independent decisions and judgements.

The clinical issues one deals with when working with battered women include, but are not limited to the following: low self-esteem, denial, manipulation, passivity, and lack of body integration (Walker, 1981). Further, for these women, their negative self images are further reinforced by the sex role stereotypes that create expectations of how they should perform the role of wife. If a woman cannot live up to all the unrealistic, rigid traditions, she is more likely to accept the batterer's accusations and his distortions of her failures. Cognitive restructuring to broaden perceived choices is needed.

The third hypothesis was that participants'

expectations for their ideal relationships would be








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classified as extreme, according to the Circumplex Model. The data did not support this hypothesis, but found that the majority of participants fell into the balanced category. This finding is enlightening because it indicates that participants do desire a healthy relationship. It would seem apparent from these findings that these women are not satisfied in their current relationship and do desire a change. This finding makes sense when one considers that the majority of this sample came from a shelter where women go when they have made a choice to leave their partner. Moving to a shelter is one indication that they are unsatisfied with the state of their current relationships. Similarly, it can be expected that the women from the outpatient group are also unsatisfied as they, too, are seeking help. One could speculate that perhaps at this point, these women are unsure about how to produce any further change, what kinds of relationships to seek out and how to maintain the dimensions of cohesion and adaptability at a healthy state of functioning. Again, the need to explore and restructure their cognitive framework becomes apparent.

The fourth prediction was that participants' ideal

expectations could be categorized as chaotically-enmeshed at a better-than-chance frequency. The data did not support this hypothesis. However, when each dimension was examined separately, the data did support the idea that a significant proportion of the participants were classified as chaotic on








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the adaptability dimension. A chaotic relationship has erratic or limited leadership. Decisions are usually impulsive and poorly thought out. Roles are unclear and often shift from person to person. This depiction opposes the traditional description of a battering relationship. In comparing these scores with those for participants' current perceptions, it seems that these women do desire change on this dimension, but that the desired change is in such opposition to the current relationship that they are at the opposite extreme, i.e. they have moved from a classification of chaotic to a classification of rigid. As stated previously, extreme relationships are problematic for their members. It is important to broaden women's perceived choices to aid them in arriving at some middle ground.

In addition to this finding for the adaptability

dimension, a significant proportion of the participants fell on the high end of the cohesion scale. When cohesion levels are high, there is too much consensus in the relationship and too little independence (Olson, 1989). Although a significant number of the women were not categorized as "enmeshed", the majority of the women fell towards the higher end of the connected category. This again illustrates that the women do desire change from their current relationship, but are perhaps too extreme in the amount of change they desire. It is important to eductae these women on what would be considered "healthy"








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functioning so as to help them move towards the "balanced" category.

The fifth prediction was that there would be no

significant differences between both the current and ideal scores. A chi-square contingency test was run, but 7 out of the 9 cells did not have enough observations to effectively use this test. The authors of the Circumplex Model have professed that the difference between these scores is a measure of one's satisfaction with their current relationship. Accordingly, no significant difference would imply satisfaction with the current state of the relationship. As previously discussed, I do not think this is the case. Moreover, the data from the fourth prediction seem to indicate that the classification of the subtype would not be categorized as rigidly disengaged as it was with their current perceptions. Additionally, their ideal scores were categorized as balanced, where as their current scores were categorized as extreme. Therefore, one could infer that the participants do desire change and are clear about what kinds of changes, but on at least one of the dimensions, they are too extreme in the amount of change they seek.

These findings also appear to be consistent with the published research. The study of Claerhout, Elder, and Janes (1982) supported the research of Walker (1979), Hilberman (1977) and Greely (1978) which suggested that








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battered women do not typically perceive alternative ways of responding in a battering situation. Claerhout and colleagues also concluded that battered women were far less likely to generate effective response alternatives and more likely to produce avoidant and dependent ineffective alternatives than were the nonbattered participants. This again illustrates the importance of expanded their realm of thinking both in terms of sex roles and problem solving.

The final prediction was that there would be no

significant differences between the Dade and Broward women with regard to their scores on FACES II. Both the t-test and chi-square analysis found that there were no significant differences on particpant's current scores. However, both a t-test and chi-square analysis did find that there were significant differences on their ideal scores. This researcher feels that this finding should be interpreted with caution as neither of these tests were ideal choices for this analysis. A t-test should be used with interval or continuous data, not categorical data. And although the chi-square analysis is appropriate for categorical data, there were too many cells with expected frequencies that were less than five so this analysis is likely to produce inaccurate results. Additionally, the analyses for the demographic data repeatedly found that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women. This researcher believes that there are no significant








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differences between the groups, but she could not conclude this with certainty, because of mixed statistical results.



Limitations of the Study and Future Suggestions

There are several drawbacks in the design of the present study that need to be taken into account when discussing the results and their implications. First, all the women in the sample were volunteers who were comfortable sharing their battering experience. Most important of all is the fact that they have taken a major step to leave the abusive situation, were ready to reassess their past experience, and were willing to explore alternatives and make some changes in their current lives. Therefore, one may speculate that this group of battered women is likely to be different from battered women who are still living with their abusive mates. An even better design to test the perceptions and expectations of battered women would be to test those that come to a shelter, as well as battered women who are still living with their abusive partners. Therefore, it should be stressed that this study is exploratory in nature and that the findings may be specific to this particular group of women.

An additional area of concern is that these scores

reflect only one member of the family's perception of family functioning. It has been shown that members often do not agree with each other in describing their family system








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(Olson, et al., 1989). However, the nature of this study was to explore the perceptions and expectations of the battered women and the researcher was not necessarily interested in her partner's perceptions and expectations. Perhaps future studies could measure these and search for similarities and discrepancies in an effort to find where these occur and if any patterns exist.

Although there are some limitations to this study in

addition to the restrictions on generalizability imposed by non-random samples, their contribution to our understanding of wife abuse should not be ignored. As Pagelow (1981) has suggested, "Each case study may contribute additional insight into the problem. The additive effect of many select samples may be the best means to knowledge-building, provided limitations applicable to each are kept in mind when drawing conclusions" (p.#237).

In an effort to better utilize the results of this

study, norms derived from other major studies in the field were used as a basis for comparison. By comparing the results of the current study to normative data, a more comprehensive profile of the battered woman will be obtained.




Full Text

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THE PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS BATTERED VJOMEN HAVE OF THEIR CURRENT AND IDEAL MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS By JODI SAMUELS SHIR A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCflOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 198 6

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This dissertation is dedicated to my parents, Don and Mimi Samuels, who inspired me and supported me in pursuing my academic dreams.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to begin my acknowledgements by thanking each and every member of my committee. I would like to thank Harry Grater for his responsiveness and valuable input throughout this research process. I am deeply grateful to Marty Heesacker for his pertinent contributions to my study and to my academic and personal growth. Special thanks go to Andres Nazario, Bob Ziller, and Warren Bargad for their guidance, suggestions, and sincere involvement in this project. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Gary Sutton whose statistical knowledge and willingness to help enabled me to get through the most gruesome portion of this study. I would like to thank the directors and staff of the participating agencies for their availability, cooperation, and understanding of the importance of research in the area of battered women. Special thanks are extended to all the women v/ho volunteered to be interviewed and were willing to share openly their intimate lives and took the risk of reexperiencing painful memories for the sake of revealing the truth and educating others by their experiences. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the emotional and practical support of my husband, Guy Shir, and my family 111

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whose empathy, patience, confrontations, and enthusiasm aided in completing this assignment. IV

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TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii ABSTRACT vii CHAPTERS I INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of the Problem 7 Purpose of the Study 7 Need for the Study 8 Research Hypotheses 10 Significance of the Study 11 Definition of Terms 12 Organization of the Study 14 II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 15 Historical Origins 15 Differences in Men and Women 17 Factors Associated With Wife Abuse 18 Individual Factors 19 Batterers Abused Women Demographic Factors 2 Economic Factors 21 Status 21 Relationship Factors 22 Stress and Isolation 23 Cycle of violence 23 Victim or Witness 24 Profile of Wife Abuse 25 Models That Explain Family Violence 27 The Psychiatric Model 27 The Social Situational Model 27 Social Learning Theory 2 8 Resource Theory 2 9 Patriarchy and Wife Abuse 29

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Theories That Explain Why They Stay 3 Learned Helplessness 32 Walker Cycle Theory of Violence 34 Does the Violence End? 36 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 37 The Circumplex Model 3 8 Marital and Family Cohesion 39 Marital and Family Adaptability 41 Marital and Family Communication 43 Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scales (FACES) 47 Implications of This Study 48 III METHODOLOGY 53 Population and Sample 53 Instrumentation. 55 Data Collection Procedures 59 Hypotheses/Data Analysis 60 IV RESULTS 63 Sample Characteristics 63 Analysis of Hypotheses 77 Summary of Findings 83 V DISCUSSION 85 Discussion of Results 85 Limitations of the Study 91 Discussion of Demographics 93 Concluding Remarks 96 APPENDICES A EVALUATION OF FACES II 99 B COMPARISON STUDIES ON EDUCATION 102 C COMPARISON STUDIES ON DEMOGRAPHICS 104 D DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE 107 E FAMILY ADAPTABILITY AND COHESIVENESS EVALUATION SCALES 109 F INTRODUCTORY LETTERS 113 G DEBRIEFING LETTER 117 REFERENCES 118 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 13 VI

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE PERCEPTIONS AND EXPECTATIONS BATTERED WOMEN HAVE OF THEIR CURRENT AND IDEAL MARITAL RELATIONSHIP BY JODI SAMUELS SHIR August 1996 Chair: Dr. Harry Grater Department : Psychology The purpose of this study was to explore both the current perceptions and ideal expectations battered women have for their marital relationships. The variables were drawn from previous research and the Circumplex Model of David Olson and his colleagues (1979) It was hypothesized that battered women's current relationship, as well as their ideal relationship, would be categorized as Extreme according to the Circumplex Model. Such a categorization has been linked with a variety of family dysfunction. Questionnaires were completed by 57 women during their stay at either the Broward County or Dade County Women in Distress shelters. An additional 22 questionnaires were completed by women who were participating in out-patient therapy through the Broward County shelter. vii

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Chi-square analyses revealed significant findings for both of these hypotheses (p<.0001). Looking at the residuals between the expected and observed values showed that their current perceptions fell into the extreme family type and their ideal expectations fell into the balanced family type at a greater frequency than that expected by chance Selected demographics were also collected and reported. In addition, the limitations of this study and alternative interpretations of the results are addressed. Vlll

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The intent of this study was to explore both the current perceptions and future expectations battered women have in regards to their marital relationships. In the past decade, domestic violence, particularly spouse abuse, has been brought increasingly to the public's attention. What was once considered an unspoken family issue, condoned and encouraged by society is now deemed a social problem (Dobash & Dobash, 1971; Roy, 1977; Stacey & Shupe, 1983; Strauss, 1978). Considered as one representation of violence against women, spouse abuse was initially addressed through the impetus of the feminist movement. In an effort to better understand, treat, and ameliorate the problem of conjugal assault, a host of disciplines and groups, including helping professionals and feminists, have undertaken the charge to research the problem (Fleming, 1979; Hansen & Barnhill, 1982; Hilberman, 1980; NiCarthy, Merriam & Coffman, 1984; Walker, 1979, 1984) This involvement has led to a focus on providing safety and treatment for spouse abuse victims as well as driving research efforts to search for the causes and

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2 effects of such abuse. An indication of the extent of the problem is the number of individuals affected by domestic violence. Many experts cite incident rates as high as 60% (Gelles, 1974; Walker, 1979) and even conservative estimates, derived from studies with allegedly representative national samples, indicate that almost 3 0% of married women in the United States experience some physical spouse abuse at some point in their marriage (Straus, 1978) From one national survey of violence in U.S. American homes, researchers reported that in one household out of six, a spouse has committed an act of violence against his or her partner in the past year (Strauss, Gelles & Steinmetz, 1980) The researchers in that survey concluded that an American's greatest risk of being assaulted, injured, or murdered occurs in one's own home by a family member. Forty % of all female murder victims are killed by their husbands (Dobash & Dobash, 1977-78, 1979) Beatings constitute the most prevalent method of wife murder (Fields, 1977-78) Wife abuse exacts a high physical, psychological, and social price. Conjugal abuse affects not only the marital dyad, but also the children and family unit. When violence occurs in the family, children are seeing models for how to handle relationships and disagreement. A cultural tradition exists to utilize hitting as punishment to curb unwanted behavior. Theoretically, children not only learn to curb

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3 behaviors through this model; realistically, they also learn that violence and love are linked, that violence is morally right, and that violence is justifiable when something is really important (Gelles, 1977) Thus, an attitude that violence can be exercised for the "good" of the recipient is promulgated (Miller, 1983) These lessons in childhood are transferred to the context of other social relationships, and violence in families and relationships becomes a way of life (Gelles, 1977; Miller, 1983, 1986) The intergenerational cycle theory of violence, i.e., that children who are recipients of violence will grow up to be perpetrators of violence, has been validated repeatedly (cf Bakan, 1971; Gil, 1970; Gillen, 1946; Maurer, 1976; Palmer, 1962; Steele and Pollack, 1974; Welsh, 1976) Also, domestic violence has significant costs for society. As examples, public and private sector funds are used to pay for shelters, counseling, police intervention, legal avenues and other resources. Police face greater injury and death at the scenes of domestic violence than at any other crime scene in which they intervene (Bard and Zacker, 1974) Wife abuse is a chronic crime which escalates in severity and poses a serious threat to the safety of the women involved (Pagelow, 1977a, 1977b, 1981; Walker, 1979) Battered women commonly report receiving murder threats from their abusers, as well as perceiving the batterers'

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4 capabilities to kill them (Walker, 1979) The violence in wife abuse is often excessive and relentless, with beatings continuing after the victims are either unconscious or dead (Okun, 1986; Walker, 1979; Wolfgang, 1958) The severity of the threat to abused women's lives is substantiated by the statistics on women who are murdered by their partners (Dobash and Dobash, 1977-78, 1979) Many more women seek safe shelter than abusers seek treatment for their problem (Fleming, 1979) Batterers find it extremely difficult to acknowledge their behavior as a problem or to take responsibility for the outcome of their brutality (Walker, 1979) The chances are quite slim that battered women who return to their households will experience an improved conjugal relationship with less threat of violence (Pagelow, 1981) Unfortunately, however, many women do return to these relationships and it is therefore imperative that research continues within this realm in order to determine how clinicians can best treat the battered wife as well as the entire family. It has become evident that wife abuse affects not only the wife, but the entire family. Viewed against this background, models of family functioning which can explain and predict the behavior and adjustment of family members are of great importance. One such model that has been developed is the Circumplex Model (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russell, 1979) They clustered more than 50 concepts from

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5 the family therapy and family research literatures and postulated three dimensions of family behavior: cohesion, adaptability, and communication. Cohesion is defined as the emotional bonding family members have towards one another. Adaptability is the capacity of the family system to change its power structure, role relations, and relationship rules in response to situational and developmental stress. Communication, the third dimension, is important for facilitating family's movement along the cohesion and adaptability dimensions. Olson and his associates have placed the dimensions of cohesion and adaptability in a Circumplex Model in which different types of family systems are identified. They hypothesized that a curvilinear relationship exits between cohesion and adaptability and optimal family functioning. Specifically, they proposed that moderate degrees of both cohesion and adaptability, as measured by the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (FACES) are the most functional for family development. One of the assets of any theoretical model is that hypotheses can be deduced and tested in order to evaluate and further develop the model. If the formulations of Olson and his associates are valid, they would have considerable utility in the diagnosis, treatment, and research of battered women's families. Empirical evaluations of FACES and the Circumplex Model have provided support for this

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6 model. For example, three studies with clinical populations (Gabarino, Sebes, and Schellenbach, 1984; Killorin & Olson, 1980; Sprenkle and Olson, 1978), two of which were authored by developers of the model, have shown that higherfunctioning families tend to possess moderate degrees of cohesion and adaptability, whereas more disturbed families tend to present extreme degrees. Following from this, this study will explore the current perceptions battered women have of their most recent relationship. Specifically, it is hypothesized that these scores will fall into the rigidly-disengaged cell on the Circumplex Model, classifying their family as extreme. As described in the literature review that follows, the extreme family type usually lacks a healthy emotional bond as well as lacking adaptability as it was described herein. Additionally, this study will examine the expectations battered women have for their ideal marital relationship. Specifically, this study hypothesizes that the scores for their ideal expectations will fall into the chaoticallyenmeshed cell, categorizing their family type as extreme. This assumption is based on the idea that these women would be so unsatisfied and unhappy in their current relationship that they would seek the opposite extreme, that being an intense emotional bond and alot of ability for adaptability such that the relationship becomes too flexible rather than a healthy moderate balance.

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7 Problem Statement It has been indicated by several researchers (Carlson, 1977; Hartik, 1982) that very little systematic research has been conducted in this area. The limited data collection tend not to be oriented toward service delivery. It is noted that these pioneer writers in the field of wife abuse focused primarily upon the sociological or legal aspects of the issues, and a paucity of statistical empiricism of the psychological approach is evident Walker (1981) confirmed the lack of information that deals with the relationship between the battering experience and the mental health status of the abused women. She stated that up to this point there are no records that indicate any consideration was given to the impact of psychological injuries that might result from such abuse. Warner (1982) recognized the importance of the process of assessment from a holistic point of view. She believed that understanding the dynamics of the violence and assessing the emotional factors that occur after an act of violence may facilitate in determining the services and the referral sources essential for adequate survival of each victim. Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the functionality/dysfunctionality of the relationships battered

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8 women are currently in as well as those that they would seek out. Specifically, this study sought to explore the perceptions and expectations of a battered woman in regards to her current and ideal marital relationship. This would be measured using FACES II (Olson, Bell and Portner 1979) The prediction would be that both the current and ideal scores would fall into the dysfunctional range as predicted by the circumplex model. It was assumed that this would be the result of their prior history of physical as well as psychological abuse in addition to their current demographics. Further, this study will explore whether or not these current and ideal responses fit into one specific subtype on the Circumplex Model. Assuming these purposes are fulfilled, we would be able to make better implications on how to ideally approach these women in treatment. The importance of understanding family dynamics is an essential part of the healing process and this study serves as an attempt towards this end. Need It is apparent that the demands to provide mental heath services to the victims of spousal abuse and their families have increased as a result of more exposure and recognition of the problem. In several studies researchers have examined various factors related to women remaining in or leaving a relationship when they are battered, though the researchers

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9 did not form global theories which guided their choice of factors The choice of studying battered women's current perceptions and expectations of ideal marital relationships stems from the belief that these perceptions and expectations may play a highly influential role in much of the behavior of victims. These variables are particularly significant because of the effects they would have on the emotional growth and development of the victims. Faulty perceptions and low expectations may block the victims from taking a stance in changing their plight, may reduce the number of alternatives they are willing to consider, and may further their entrapment and resignation to continue in destructive relationships. These conditions may affect the frequency and/or the persistence in exerting efforts to seek professional and paraprof essional help. They can keep the victims from doing some things necessary for their survival and are certainly obstacles to their own autonomy. The psychological aftereffects of battering were viewed as one of the major factors responsible for women staying in abusive homes. These aftereffects typically include the physical, financial, and emotional dependency which all result in a low level of self-esteem and serve to keep the battered women immobilized both psychologically and behaviorally (Moore, 1979) However, also worth exploring is the impact these aftereffects have on the perceptions and

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10 expectations of the battered women. This study is also important due to its empirical nature. The model of family functioning proposed by Olson and his associates has not been applied to battered women. Nor has the model been utilized to address the issues that pertain to different ideal expectations battered women may have that would serve to either promote or inhibit effective functioning of family members. The present study addresses these needs Research Hypotheses The specific research hypotheses were as follows: 1. Do battered women have dysfunctional expectations for their ideal marital relationships, as evidenced by their scores falling into the Extreme family type on the Circumplex Model? 2. What is the level of satisfaction battered women have for their current system? 3. Will battered women's current perceptions or ideals cluster into a specific cell on the Circumplex Model? 3a. Will their current perceptions fall into the rigidly disengaged cell? 3b. Will their ideal expectations fall into the chaotically enmeshed cell? 4. Will there be differences in scores between battered women sampled from different shelters?

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11 5. How do the demographic factors correlate with the cells/subtypes on the circumplex model? Significance This study has implications for researchers in the area of domestic violence, shelter personnel, community agency personnel, private practitioners, and battered women. A workable theory which accurately describes the social problem of wife abuse and which can be used to shape a better family unit and society has yet to be defined. Whether refinement of current theories or evolution of a new theory occurs, research is required on the batterer, the family unit, society, and the battered woman. Despite the heritage of this problem as a socially taboo subject, and the paucity of funding provided to it, the findings from this research effort will add to what is known about battered women and be a part of the base for future research efforts on conjugal violence against women. By establishing a relationship between the variables under investigation, the plan was that this study would allow researchers, clinicians, and educators to better understand the dynamics of wife abuse. Assuming that battered women do have dysfunctional expectations in regards to their ideal marital relationship, clinicians would have to approach these family systems in more nontraditional ways

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12 by first expanding the realm of possibilities for marital functioning. Finally, battered women can gain greater self understanding and mutual appreciation by more clearly knowing the challenges they face to establish violence-free lives. These findings will not provide them with the causal explanations for why some stay with or return to abusers and some do not. Yet, the findings may provide them with clues to explore what in their situations are defensive responses to their abuse and which have roots in both external and internalized oppression. Greater understanding can help minimize self -blame and guilt. Definition of Terms Operational definitions for terms relevant to the research are provided to enhance understanding. Battered Woman A battered woman is any married or unmarried woman over the age of 16 who has been physically abused in ways which caused pain or injury on at least one occasion at the hands of an intimate male partner. (A definition for battered women has not been universally agreed upon by researchers) The most notable distinctions about this definition are as follows: A battered woman would not need to present evidence of injury; self -report of physical battering is sufficient.

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13 The battering need not be a repeated occurrence as preferred by some authors (Michigan Women's Commission, 1977; Parker & Scumacher, 1977) Although abuses other than physical may be just as devastating, and support exists to include psychological abuse as a component of battering (Moore, 1979; Walker, 1978b, 1979, 1980a), the definition herein has been limited to physical harm alone. The purpose is because physical abuse can be documented more readily; operationalizing a definition for psychological abuse is, at best, extremely difficult. This sample may include women who are cohabitating with men although not legally married to them, or separated or divorced partners who are living with each other.) Battered wives and wife abuse victims will also mean battered women as defined here. Abused, harmed, or beaten may be substituted for battered. Adaptability "The ability of a marital/family system to change its power structure, role relationships, and relationship rules in response to situational and developmental stress" (Olson et al 1979, p. 12) The battered woman's score on the adaptability dimension for the Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scale (FACES II) will constitute adaptability for this study.

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14 Cohesion "The emotional bonding members have with one another and the degree of individual autonomy a person experiences in the family system" (Olson et al 1979, p. 5). For this study, the battered woman's score on the cohesion dimension of FACES II will constitute cohesiveness in the family. Organization of Study This study will be presented in five chapters. Chapter two is a review of the related literature. The proposed research methodology is detailed in the third chapter. Data analyses and results are printed in the fourth chapter. Finally, in Chapter five, the researcher offers a discussion and interpretation of the results, a discussion of the limitations of the study, and further implications.

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CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE RELATED LITERATURE The literature review will present research that will aid in the understanding of the background upon which this study was based. There will be five sections in this chapter. The first four sections will present material on the history, selected demographic characteristics, theories that attempt to explain the dynamics of wife abuse, and a discussion of why women would remain in these relationships. The final section will discuss and review the research which pertains to the model of family functioning developed by Olson et al. (1979) Historical Origins The origins of spouse abuse have been traced back to the times when history was first recorded. Biblical references to wife-beating are commonly cited (Davidson, 1979) as are similar religious exhortations to treat wives with respect and tenderness (Hendricks, 1982) Patriarchy is often blamed for the introduction of sexism in society through its subordination of women concept (Stone, 1976) and the Dobashes (1981) carefully trace its linkages to 15

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16 spouse abuse History also forces researchers to look at linkages of woman-battering to other violent acts committed by men, against those weaker and less powerful than themselves, usually women and children. Most agree that men continue to use violence as a method of getting what they want because it is successful and no one stops them (Martin, 1976; Straus et al 1980; Walker, 1979; Berk et al 1983). Feminists assert that all men benefit from the violence against women committed by a few (Leidig, 1981) Brownmiller (1975) in a historical review of rape, claims that rapists are the "shock troops" who serve to convince women to mate and to marry with one man to provide her with protection against the other men's potential violence. Jones (1980) adds to this analogy by claiming that batterers are the "home guard" who serve to convince women to behave as men wish in order to escape further violence. The tenacity with which assaults against women continue provides the empirical evidence that violence is seen as a useful tactic to keep a male-dominant, patriarchal social order in place (Walker, 1984) The legal system, called upon to mete out punishment for those who break society's rules has only recently begun to punish wife beaters. This is another example of the widespread historical acceptance of such violent behavior. Pleck (1979) details the changes in social and legal attitudes in the nineteenth century, citing the variability

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17 between formal and informal means of punishment. She documents how community standards of justice, set by men to regulate the behavior of other men, were embedded in their own definitions of proper behavior for men and women. Jones (1980) provides a historical context of similar attitudes since the beginning of our country. Gelles (1972) found that individuals still reflect those notions of just discipline for infractions or perceived standards of behavior. Research must measure the impact of such norms of control for them, rather than ignore the social context in which violence takes place Differences in Women and Men The traits of affiliation and sensitivity developed through women's roles of nurturing and sustained through intimate relating are frequently seen as weaknesses in a culture built on male yardsticks of autonomy and success (Browne, 198 7) Perceived as weak by men and even by women, these qualities are both valued and denigrated: valued for their manageability and the comfort and stability they bring to the lives of others, yet belittled as indicating a lack of strength, independence, and maturity (Miller, 1976; Gilligan, 1982) Theories of personality and development have been based largely on men and male ideals (Freud, 1905, 1925, & 1961; Piaget 1932; Erickson, 1950; Kholberg, 1969) Thus, traditional models of psychological development place

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18 a heavy emphasis on the importance of individuation, task mastery, and autonomy, all a part of the prescription for being a successful male. "Women's" traits, even women's strengths of compassion and care, have been described as somehow deviant from this traditional model; weaker, less effective, and less developed (McClelland, 1975; Miller, 1976; Gilligan, 1982) In particular, the importance attached by women to connection-what Kaplan and Surrey have called the "relational self" in women, or the quality of relationships with others being at the core of one's self -concept-is seen as less mature and less well-adjusted than the more autonomous perspective attributed to men (Kaplan and Surrey, 1984) In the male model, intimacy and relatedness often appear as threats to the more highly valued goals of autonomy and independence This brief review of the history and concurrent societal standards for men and women shows clearly that there is strong empirical evidence advocating the high frequency of woman-battering. Factors Associated With Wife Abuse The earliest publications on the subject of wife abuse took a distinctively psychiatric view of both offender and victim. Women who were abused were believed to suffer from psychological disorders as did the men who abused them.

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19 Research conducted in the 1970 's and 1980 's found this view of wife battery too simplistic. There are a number of individual, demographic, relational, and situational factors related to violence towards wives These factors are probably all interrelated (Gelles & Cornell, 1985). Individual Factors Batterers. Men who assault and batter their wives have been found to have low self esteem and vulnerable self concepts. A remark, insult, or comment that might not affect someone else may be interpreted as a slight, insult, or challenge to many of these men. Abusive men have also been described as feeling helpless, powerless, and inadequate (Ball, 1977; Weitzman and Dreen, 1982) Violence is frequently used as a means of trying to demonstrate one's power and adequacy. Abused women Psychological portraits of battered wives are difficult to interpret (Gelles and Cornell, 1985). One never really knows whether the personality factors found in battered wives were present before they were battered or are the result of the victimization. Battered women have been described as dependent, having low self esteem, and feeling inadequate and helpless (Ball, 1977; Shainess, 1977; Walker, 1979) Sometimes the personality profiles of battered women reported in the literature seem directly opposite. While some researchers

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20 described battered women as unassertive, shy, and reserved (Weitzman & Dreen, 1982), other reports picture battered women as aggressive, masculine, frigid, and masochistic (Snell et al 1964; Ball, 1977) Democrraphic Factors Results of the National Family Violence survey indicate that all forms of marital violence occur most frequently among those under thirty years of age (Straus et al 1980) The rate of marital violence among those under thirty years of age is more than double the rate for the next older age group (thirty-one to fifty) Studies that examine women who seek help from agencies or shelters also find that the mean age is thirty or younger (Gayford, 1975; Fagan et al 1983). Straus and his colleagues also found that wife abuse was more common in Black households than white households This is different from child abuse where there were no major differences between Blacks and whites. Obviously, race is not the only factor in play here. Income and occupational status are probably also associated with the increased rates of wife abuse among Blacks. Marital violence can occur at any stage of a marriage, but as the data on age would appear to indicate, newer marriages have the highest risk of wife abuse. Maria Roy (1977) found that the highest %age of battered women were

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21 married from 2.5 to 5 years. Another study reported that the median length of a violent marriage was 5 years (Fagan et al. 1983) Economic Factors One of the main factors associated with wife battery is the employment status of the husband. Being unemployed is devastating to men in our society. It is a clear demonstration that they are not fulfilling society's expectation that men are the family providers. Unemployed men have rates of wife assault that are almost double the rates for employed men (Rounsaville, 1978; Gayford, 1975; Prescott Sc Letko, 1977) Men who are employed part time have even higher rates, probably because they have the worst of all possible worlds -no full-time job and not eligible for unemployment or other benefits (Straus et al 1980). Status Early studies of spousal violence found that men whose educational attainment and occupational status was lower than their wives were more likely to assault their wives than men who were better educated and had better jobs than their spouses (Gelles, 1974; O'Brien, 1971) Additional research bears out the hypothesis that status inconsistency and status incompatibility are related to marital violence. One example of status inconsistency is where a husband's

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22 educational background is considerably higher than his occupational attainment. Status incompatibility is when the husband, who society expects to be the leader of the family, had less education and a poorer job than his wife. In both of these cases, the risk of marital violence is elevated (Hornunq et al 1981; Steinmetz, 1982; Rounsaville, 1978). Relationship Factors One of the most compelling indicators that domestic violence is not purely a product of individual factors is the finding that certain properties of marital relations raise the likelihood of violence. That structural properties of marriage and family life are involved means that abuse can not be solely attributed to "bad" or "sick" people. Decision-making patterns or power balance was found to be related to domestic violence. Democratic households homes where decision making is shared are the least violent families. Homes where all the decisions are made either by the wife or the husband have the highest rates of violence. Another relationship factor is that if there is one type of family violence in a home, there is a good chance that another form of violence will be present. Child abuse rates are higher in homes where there is spouse abuse (Straus et al 1980; Hilberman & Munson, 1977; Finklehor, 1983)

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23 Stress and Isolation Social stress and social isolation are two final factors that are strongly related to the risk of wife-abuse. Unemployment, financial problems, sexual difficulties, low job satisfaction, large family size, and poor housing conditions are all related to marital violence. The more socially isolated a family is, the higher the risk that there will be wife-abuse. Cycle of Violence As with child battering, wife battering is related to experiences with violence. Individuals who have experienced violent childhoods are more likely to grow up and assault their wives than men who have not experienced childhood violence. Physician J.J. Gayford (1975) as well as other investigators found that both offender and victim had a violence-ridden childhood (Roy, 1977; Fagan et al 1983). Drawn from social learning theory, the concept of an "intergenerational transmission of violence" explains how patterns of violent interaction can be "passed on" from one generation to the next. Children growing up in violent homes learn from observing, and then imitating, the behaviors of the people around them. In addition, they begin to develop their own ideas about how different emotions are expressed and what constitutes appropriate reactions for various situations (Browne, 1987) These concepts include ideas

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24 about what behaviors are appropriate for males and females, and the roles and responsibilities of different family members. Social learning theory suggests that when violence is present in the family setting, children will model those ways of dealing with relationships and apply similar methods of coping when they are faced with threatening situations later in life (Bandura, 1973; Bandura & Walters, 1973; Herzberger, 1983; Pagelow, 1980). In their 1980 national study of couples, Straus, Gelles, and Steinmetz asserted that, "Each generation learns to be violent by being a participant in a violent family -'Violence begets violence" (p. 121). Findings from studies on the development of aggressive behavior support a theoretical connection between childhood exposure to aggressive acts and involvement with adult violence. For instance, exposure to aggression as a child is highly correlated with later anti-social or delinquent behavior in general, and the acts of violence in particular (Alfaro, 1978; Farrington, 1978; McCord, 1979; Sorrells, 1977; Strausburg, 1978) Victim or Witness The impact that childhood exposure to violence can have on an individual's future interactional style is further highlighted by recent studies that attempt to separate the effects of witnessing violence between parental figures from

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25 those of experiencing violence in the form of childhood abuse. Although exposure to violence in the childhood home, whether as a victim or a witness or both, is highly associated with later involvement in violent relationships, the experience of witnessing abuse seems to be the most powerful factor for both men and women. Of 42 characteristics of female victims investigated by researchers (Hotaling and Sugarman, 1986) only one-witnessing violence between parents or caregivers while growing up-is consistently related to future wife abuse. Similarly, men who witnessed parental violence are much more likely to later perpetrate abuse against a female partner than men who were the victims of child abuse but did not witness abuse between their parents or caregivers (Coleman, Weinman & Hsi, 1980; Fagan et al 1983; Kalmuss, 1984; Rosenbaum & O'Leary, 1981; Rouse, 1984a, 1984b). Profile of Wife Abuse One way of advancing our understanding of spousal abuse is to move beyond a simple explanation of single factors and their association with violence. After considering all the variables that are found to be related with violence in the home, Straus and associates (1980) found twenty characteristics relevant in acts of wife beating. They included the following: 1. the husband employed part-time or unemployed

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26 2. family income under $6000 3. the husband a manual worker (if employed) 4 both husband and wife very worried about economic security 5. the wife dissatisfied with the family's standard of living 6 two or more children 7. disagreements over children being common 8. husband and wife have grown up in families where father hit mother 9. couples married fewer than ten years 10. the husband and wife both less than thirty years of age 11. a nonwhite racial group 12 above average marital conflict 13 very high levels of family and individual stress 14. the wife or husband dominating family decisions 15. a husband verbally aggressive to his wife 16. a wife verbally aggressive to her husband 17. both getting drunk frequently, but are not alcoholics 18. couples who lived in a neighborhood fewer than two years 19. couples who do not participate in organized religion, or 20. the wife a full-time housewife

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27 Models That Explain Family Violence The Psychiatric Model The psychiatric model focuses on the abuser's personality characteristics as the chief determinants of violence and abuse. A psychiatric model links factors such as mental illness, personality defects, psychopathology, sociopathology, alcohol and drug misuse, or other intra-individual abnormalities to family violence. Research indicates that less than 10% of instances of family violence is attributable solely to personality traits, mental illness, or psychopathology (Steele. 1978). The Social Situational Model A social-situational model of family violence proposes that abuse and violence arise out of two main factors. The first is structural stress. The association between low income and family violence, for instance, indicates that a central factor in violence and abuse is inadequate financial resources. The second main factor is the cultural norm concerning force and violence in the home. "Spare the rod and spoil the child." "The marriage license is a hitting license." These are phrases that underscore the widespread social approval for the use of force and violence at home. The social-situational model notes that such structural stresses as low income, unemployment, limited educational

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28 resources, illness, and the like are unevenly distributed in society. While all groups are told that they should be loving parents, adoring husbands, and caring wives, only some groups get sufficient resources to meet these demands. Others fall considerably short of being able to have the psychological, social, and economic resources to meet the expectations of society, friends, neighbors, loved ones, and themselves. Combined with the cultural approval for violence, these shortfalls lead many family members to adopt violence and abuse as a means of coping with structural stress Social Learning Theory A subset of social-situational theory is social learning theory. A commonly stated explanation for family violence is that people learn to be violent when they grow up in violent homes. The family is the first place where people learn the roles of mother and father, husband and wife. The family is one key place where we learn how to cope with stress and frustration. The family is also the place where people are most likely to first experience violence. A history of abuse and violence does increase the risk that an individual will be violent as an adult. Individuals are not only exposed to techniques of being violent, but they also learn the social and moral justifications for the behavior. It is not uncommon to hear

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29 a parent who has physically struck his or her own child explain that they were punishing the child for the child's own good. Resource Theory Another explanation of family violence that is supported by the available scientific data is resource theory (Goode, 1971) This model assumes that all social systems (including the family) rest to some degree on force or the threat of force. The more resources-social personal, and economic-a person can command, the more force he or she can muster. However, according to William Goode, the author of this theory, the more resources a person actually has, the less he or she will actually use force in an open manner. Thus, a husband who wants to be the dominant person in the family, but has little education, has a job low in prestige and income, and lacks interpersonal skills, may chose to use violence to maintain the dominant position. In addition, family members may use violence to redress a grievance when they have few alternative resources available Patriarchy and Wife Abuse The sociologists Russell and Rebecca Dobash (1979) see wife abuse as a unique phenomenon that has been obscured and overshadowed by what they refer to as the "narrow focus on

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30 domestic violence. The Dobashes make the case that throughout history, violence has systematically been directed toward women. The Dobashes' central thesis is that economic and social processes operate directly and indirectly to support a patriarchal (male dominated) social order and family structure. Their central theoretical argument is that patriarchy leads to subordination of women and causes the historical pattern of systematic violence directed against wives. The Dobashes' theory is perhaps the only theory that finds the source of family violence in the society and how it is organized, as opposed to within individual families or communities. The major drawback of the theory is that it uses but a single factor (patriarchy) to explain violence, and single factor explanations are rarely useful in social science Why Do Thev Stay? Why would a woman who has been physically abused by her husband remain with him? This question appears in the literature as one of the most frequently asked by both professionals and the lay public in the course of discussions of family violence. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not easily answered. Several factors need to be taken into consideration. In the first place the decision to either stay with an assaultive spouse or to seek

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31 intervention or dissolution of a marriage is not related solely to the extent or severity of the physical assault. Some spouses will suffer repeated severe beatings or even stabbings without so much as calling a neighbor, while others call the police after a coercive gesture from their husbands. Second, the assumption that the victim would flee from a conjugal attacker overlooks the complex subjective meaning of intraf amilial violence, the nature of commitment and entrapment to the family as a social group, and the external constraint which limits a woman's ability to seek outside help (Gelles, 1976) As has been reported elsewhere (Parnas, 1967; Gelles, 1974; Straus, 1974b, 1976), violence between spouses is often viewed as normative and, in fact, mandated in family relations. Wives have reported that they believe that it is acceptable for a husband to beat his wife "every once in a while" (Parnas, 1967: 952; Gelles, 1974: 59-61) Legal writer Elizabeth Truninger (1971) lists seven factors that help explain why women do not break off relationships with abusive husbands: 1) they (the women) have negative self -concepts ; 2) they believe their husbands will reform; 3) economic hardship; 4) they have children who need a father's economic support; 5) they doubt they can get along alone; 6) they believe divorcees are stigmatized; and 7) it's difficult for women with children to get work. Moreover, Truninger found that women attempt to dissolve a

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32 violent marriage only after a history of conflict and reconciliation. According to this analysis, a wife makes a decision to obtain a divorce from her abusive husband when she can no longer believe her husband's promises of no more violence nor forgive past episodes of violence. Ferraro and Johnson (1983) described how women "rationalized" being abused, saying things like, "I asked for it", "He's sick", and "He didn't injure me". Ferraro and Johnson (1983) also demonstrate how these accounts prevented the women from seeking help. Along the same lines. Mills (1985) described the "techniques of neutralization" that battered women use "to help them tolerate violent marriages." Mills (1985) found that one way that women "manage the violence" directed towards them was they used "justifications" (e.g., "compared to others, it seems my problems are small") to "minimize the significance of their victimization" (p. 109). Learned Helplessness The theoretical concept of "learned helplessness" has been adapted in this realm to explain why women find it difficult to escape a battering relationship (Walker, 1978b, 1979) Seligman and his colleagues discovered that when laboratory animals were repeatedly and noncontingently shocked, they became unable to escape from a painful situation, even when escape was quite possible and readily

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33 apparent to animals that had not undergone helplessness training. Seligman (1975) likened the learned helplessness to a kind of human depression, and showed that both have cognitive, motivational, and behavioral components. The inability to predict the success of one's actions was considered responsible for the resulting perceptual distortions. Moreover, Seligman' s theory was further refined and reformulated, based on later laboratory trials with human participants (Abramson, Seligman & Teasdale, 1978) For example, depressed humans were found to have negative, pessimistic beliefs about the efficacy of their actions and the likelihood of obtaining future rewards; helpless animals act as if they held similar beliefs. Both depressed humans and helpless animals exhibited motivational deficits in the laboratory. Both showed signs of emotional upset with illness, phobias, sleep disturbances, and other such symptoms similar to those described as part of the battered woman syndrome It has also been suggested that "being a woman, more specifically a married woman, automatically creates a situation of powerlessness" (Walker, 1979, p. 51), and that women are taught sexrole stereotyping which encourages passivity and dependency even as little girls (Radloff & Rae, 1979, 1981; Dweck, Goetz, & Strauss, 1980). Seligman's research indicated that the experience of noncontingency between response and outcome early in an animal's

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34 development increased that animal's vulnerability to learned helplessness later in life. He hypothesized that the same principles apply in human child raising practices (Seligman, 1975) To the extent that animal and human helplessness are similar, childhood experiences of noncontingency between response and outcome, including socialization practices that encourage passivity and dependency, should increase a woman's vulnerability to developing learned helplessness in a battering relationship. Walker Cycle Theory of Violence The Walker Cycle Theory of Violence (Walker, 1979) is a tension reduction theory which states that there are three distinct phases associated in a recurring battering cycle: 1) the tension building, 2) the acute battering incident, and 3) loving contrition. During the first phase, there is a gradual escalation of tension displayed by discrete acts causing increased friction such as name calling, other mean intentional behaviors, and/or physical abuse. The batterer expresses dissatisfaction and hostility but not in an extreme or maximally explosive form. The woman attempts to placate the batterer, doing what she thinks might please him, calm him down, or at least, what will not further aggravate him. She tries not to respond to his hostile actions and uses general anger reduction techniques. Often she succeeds for a little while which reinforces her

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35 unrealistic belief that she can control this man. It also becomes part of the unpredictable noncontingency response/outcome pattern which creates the "learned helplessness" "Phase two is characterized by the uncontrollable discharge of the tensions that have built up during phase one" (p. 59). The batterer typically unleashes a barrage of verbal and physical aggression that can leave the woman severely shaken and injured. In fact, when injuries do occur it usually happens during this second phase. It is also the time police become involved, if they are called at all. The acute battering phase is concluded when the batterer stops, usually bringing with its cessation a sharp physiological reduction in tension. In phase three which follows, the batterer may apologize profusely, try to assist his victim, show kindness and remorse, and shower her with gifts and/or promises. The batterer may believe at this point that he will never allow himself to be violent again. The woman wants to believe the batterer and, early in the relationship at least, may renew her hope in his ability to change. This third phase provides the positive reinforcement for remaining in the relationship, for the woman.

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36 Does the Violence End? The question, "Why don't battered women leave?" is based on the assumption that leaving will end the violence. While this may be true for some women who leave after the first or second incident, even the smoothness of those separations depends on the abuser's sense of desperation or abandonment and his willingness or tendency to do harm when faced with an outcome he does not want or cannot control. The longer the relationship continues, and the more investment in it by both partners, the more difficult it becomes for a woman to leave an abusive man safely. Some estimates suggest that at least 50 % of women who leave their abusers are followed and harassed or further attacked by them (Moore, 1979) Abused women's primary fear, that their abusers will find them and retaliate against their leaving, is justified. Some women who have left an abusive partner have been followed and harassed for months or even years; some have been killed (Lindsey, 1978; Martin, 1976; Pagelow, 1980, 1981). The evidence suggests that, in many cases, the man's violence continues to escalate after a separation (Fields, 1978; Fiora-Gormally, 1978; Lewin, 1979; Pagelow, 1980, 1981) Violent men do search desperately for their partners once the woman leaves (Ewing, Lindsey, & Pomerantz, 1984) Often, they spend days and nights calling her family and

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37 mutual acquaintances; phoning her place of employment or showing up there; driving around the streets looking for her; haunting school grounds, playgrounds, and grocery stores. They may nearly kill their mates, but they do not want to lose them. For many battered women, leaving their mates and living in constant fear of reprisal or death seems more intolerable than remaining, despite their fears of further harm. Women in hiding relate how they are afraid to go into their apartment when they get home; to go to work in the morning or to leave at night; to approach their car in a parking lot; to visit friends (Browne, 1987) They know if their estranged partners find them, he may simply retaliate and not wait to talk. Shelter personnel who work with battered women struggle against their frustration when women return to their abusers; yet in many cases, the women are simply overwhelmed. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Another important concept worth understanding is the recognized diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which battered women, like many Vietnam war veterans, may develop. Those who study PTSD have found that, after experiencing severe and unexpected trauma, or being repeatedly and unpredictably exposed to abuse, most people tend to develop certain psychological symptoms that continue

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38 to affect their ability to function long after the original trauma. They may believe they are helpless, lacking power to change their situation. This brief presentation of the diverse theoretical perspectives is an indication of the extremely complex problem of woman-battering. Given the overlap of so many theories. Walker (1980a) proposes a multi-deterministic theoretical orientation for explaining causality of woman battering. After reviewing over 160 theoretical and incidence studies, Lystad (1975) arrived at a similar conclusion. He believed that a comprehensive theory of domestic violence must take into account factors at the psychological, social, and cultural levels. This study attempts to provide an answer to the question of why victims of conjugal violence stay with their husbands by focusing on various aspects of the family and family experience which distinguish between women who are victims of spousal abuse and those that are not. The Circumplex Model Viewed against the background of domestic violence, models of family functioning which can explain and predict the behavior of its members are of great importance. One such model that has been developed for this purpose is that of Olson, Sprenkle and Russell (1979) Starting in the middle 1970' s, Olson and his associates

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39 began work on a model of marital and family systems. Their model building began out of a sense of frustration over an ever-growing list of concepts that were being developed in the family systems field. In one article (Olson et al 1979) they list over 45 concepts which describe various family processes. Perceiving a need for synthesis, they identified what appeared to be two central concepts, cohesiveness and adaptability. In addition, they proposed a third dimension: family communication, which is considered to be a facilitating dimension in that it enables couples and families to move on the cohesion and adaptability dimensions. Olson and his colleagues developed the Family Cohesion and Adaptability Scale (FACES) to assess the cohesion and adaptability dimensions of their model and this will be reviewed in detail later. Marital and Family Cohesion Family cohesion is defined as, "The emotional bonding members have with one another and the degree of individual autonomy a person experiences in the family system" (Olson et al., 1979, p. 5). Within the Circumplex Model, some of the specific concepts or variables that can be used to diagnose and measure the family cohesion dimensions are: emotional bonding, boundaries, coalitions, time, space, friends, decision-making, interests, and recreation. There are four levels of cohesion, ranging from

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40 disengaged (very low) to separated (low to moderate) to connected (moderate to high) to enmeshed (very high) It is hypothesized that the central levels of cohesion (separated and connected) make for optimal family functioning. The extremes (disengaged or enmeshed) are generally seen as problematic Many families that seek treatment often fall into one of these extremes (Olson, 1989) When cohesion levels are high (enmeshed systems) there is too much consensus within the family and too little independence. At the other extreme (disengaged systems) family members "do their own thing, with limited attachment or commitment to their family. In the model's central area (separated and connected), individuals are able to experience and balance these two extremes and are able to be both independent from and connected to their families. A disengaged relationship often has extreme emotional separateness. There is little involvement among family members and there is a lot of personal separateness and independence. People often do their own thing and have separate interests. A separated relationship has some emotional separateness but it is not as extreme as the disengaged system. While time apart is important, there is some together and some joint decisions. Activities and interests are generally separate but a few are shared. A connected

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41 relationship has some emotional closeness and loyalty to the relationship. Time together is more important than time apart to be by oneself. There is an emphasis on togetherness. While there are separate friends, there are also friends shared by the couple. There are often shared interests In the enmeshed relationship, there is an extreme amount of emotional closeness and loyalty is demanded. Persons are very dependent on each other and reactive to one another. There is a general lack of personal separateness and little private space is permitted. The energy of the persons is mainly focused inside the marriage or family and there are few outside individual friends or interests. Based on the Circumplex Model, high levels of cohesion (enmeshed) and low levels of cohesion (disengaged) might be problematic for relationships. On the other hand, relationships having moderate scores (separated and connected) are able to balance being alone versus together in a more functional way. Although there is no absolute best level for any relationship, some may have problems if they always function at either extreme. Marital and Family Adaptability Family adaptability is defined as, "The ability of a marital or family system to change its power structure, role relationships and relationships rules in response to

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42 situational and developmental stress" (Olson et al 1979, p. 12) The concepts used to describe, measure, and diagnose couples and families on this dimension include: family power, negotiation styles, role relationships and relationship rules. The four levels of adaptability range from rigid (very low) to structured (low to moderate) to flexible (moderate to high) to chaotic (very high) As with cohesion, it is hypothesized that central levels of adaptability (structured and flexible) are more conducive to marital and family functioning, with the extremes (rigid and chaotic) being the most problematic for families as they move through the family life cycle. Basically, adaptability focuses on the ability of the marital and family system to change. Much of the early application of systems theory to families emphasized the rigidity of the family and its tendency to maintain the status quo. Until the work of recent theorists, the importance of potential for change was minimized. Couples and families need both stability and change and the ability to change when appropriate distinguishes functional couples and families from others. Marriages and families can range from having a rigid and authoritarian leader to being chaotic and erratic or limited leadership. A rigid relationship is where one person is highly controlling. The roles are strictly defined and

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43 the rules do not change. A structured relationship is overall less rigid. Leadership is somewhat less authoritarian and controlling, and is shared between the parents. Roles are stable, but there is some sharing of roles. There are a few rule changes, but not a lot of change. A flexible relationship is even less rigid. Leadership is more equally shared. Roles are sometimes shared and rules could change. A chaotic relationship has erratic or limited leadership. Decisions are impulsive and not well thought out. Roles are unclear and often shift from person to person. Based on the Circumplex Model, very high levels of change (chaotic) and very low levels of change (rigid) might be problematic for a marriage and family. On the other hand, relationships having moderate scores (structured and flexible) are able to balance some change and some stability in a more functional way. Although there is no absolute best level for any relationship, many relationships may have problems if they always function at either extreme. Marital and Family Communication Family communication is the third dimension in the Circumplex Model, and is considered a facilitating dimension. Communication is considered critical for facilitating couples and families to move on the other two dimensions. Because it is a facilitating dimension. r

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i 44 communication is not graphically included in the model along with cohesion and adaptability. Positive communication skills enable couples and families to share with each other their changing needs and preferences as they relate to cohesion and adaptability. Negative communication skills minimize the ability of a couple or family members to share their feelings and, thereby, restrict their movement on these dimensions. The Circumplex Model provides a framework for describing types of couples and families. There are four levels of cohesion and four levels of adaptability and putting them together forms sixteen cells or types of families. Once couples or families have been placed into one of the sixteen types, it becomes possible to reduce the I 7 sixteen types to three more global types: Balanced, Mid-Range, and Extreme. Balanced families are those that fall into the two central cells of both cohesion and radaptability. Mid-range families are those that fall into one of the extreme cells on one dimension and central cell on the other dimension. Extreme families are those that fall '•^ into an extreme cell on both dimensions. It is important to elaborate on what Olson and colleagues imply with their definition of balanced. According to Olson and his colleagues (1983) being balanced j means that a family system can experience the extremes on the dimension when appropriate but that they do not

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45 typically function at these extremes for long periods of time. Families in the balanced area of the cohesion dimension allow family members to experience being both independent and connected to their family. Both extremes are tolerated and expected, but the family does not continually function at the extreme. Conversely, extreme i* family types tend to function only at the extremes and are not encouraged to change the way they function as a family. Accordingly, Olson and his associates predict several other hypotheses that follow from this model. First, balanced family types have a larger behavioral repertoire and are more able to change compared with extreme family types. This could infer a plausible explanation of why women would I remain in abusive relationships, i.e. they cannot find an alternative response. Second, to deal with situational stress and developmental changes across the life cycle, balanced families will change their cohesion and adaptability, whereas extreme families will resist change over time. This hypothesis deals with change in the family system to deal with stress or to accommodate changes in family members, particularly as family members alter their expectations. The Circumplex Model is dynamic in that it assumes that individuals and family systems will change, and it hypothesizes that change can be beneficial to the maintenance and improvement of family functioning (Olson et al. 1983) i

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I' 46 When one family member desires change, the familysystem must deal with that request. For example, increasing numbers of married women want to develop more autonomy from their husbands (cohesion dimension) and also want more power and equality in their relationships (adaptability dimension) If their husbands are unwilling to understand and change in accordance with these expectations, the marriages will probably experience increased amounts of stress. One can carry this over to the plight of a battered woman and can infer that the system could not adequately fluctuate to such changes. It is also imperative that we link the Circumplex Model to what is known about relationships in violent families. The rights of individuals in the family unit become blurred, and the whole family is considered to be an entity in itself. There usually is some ambivalence regarding this bonding, with the intimacy being broken at times when an individual's needs become strong enough to conflict with the survival of the common family unit. Abusive relationships within the family may actually add to the cohesiveness An interesting theory of traumatic bonding has been suggested by Button (1980) The familiar sense of shame and guilt binds them together, and no one seems able to establish psychological independence (Walker, 1981)

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47 Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scales To assess a family's degree of cohesiveness and adaptability Olson, Bell and Portner (1978) developed the Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scales (FACES) By indicating their degree of agreement with statements concerning their family's interactions, a family is evaluated on the issues which serve to define the dimensions of the model In the first version of the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale, FACES I, (Olson, Sprenkle, & Russell, 1979), the two extremes of cohesion were labeled enmeshment and disengagement. A curvilinear relationship between cohesion and family functioning was hypothesized. The hypothesis has been maintained in later versions: FACES II (Olson, Portner, & Bell, 1982) and FACES III (Olson, Portner, & Lavee, 1985) According to Green and colleagues (Green, Harris, Forte, & Robinson, 1991a) "literally hundreds of research projects in the past decade" (p. 55) have been based on the various versions of FACES. In this study, FACES II is used due to the advantages it has over FACES III, the more recent version of FACES. These advantages will be discussed in detail in Chapter III. FACES II also enables the researcher to account for one's ideal expectations for relationships as well as one's current perceptions.

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i 48 Implications of This Study The benefit of representing these scores according to the Circumplex model is that a conceptual framework is provided in order to assess family system functioning on two fundamental dimensions of family organization, cohesion and adaptability. Consequently, clinicians can guide their treatment planning to strengthen particular components of functioning toward clearly specified and realistic objectives For those women assessed at either Extreme on the dimensions, intervention strategies can be targeted to fit their particular pattern of organization and to guide change, in a stepwise progression, toward a more Balanced system. According to Olson (1983) a reachable goal for cases of severe and chronic dysfunction, would be the achievement of higher functioning at the next, adjacent pattern, such as a shift from disengaged to separated or from enmeshed to connected. A common therapeutic error with severe dysfunction is to assume either that patterns are unchangeable or that change toward the opposite pattern is necessary and desirable. Olson (1993) found that severely dysfunctional families often assumed such extreme all-or-none positions regarding change. They are more likely to alternate between feelings of hopelessness that any change can occur and unrealistic expectations for goals that are unlikely to be met.

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49 For example, in families with extremely rigid interactional patterns, leadership tends to be authoritarian, with one or both parents highly controlling. Discipline is typically autocratic, based on a simplistic principle of "law and order," and consequences are strict, even harsh, without leniency. Negotiations tend to be limited, with decisions imposed by parents, often arbitrarily, or by applying a single solution to all problems regardless of its applicability. Rigid families have a very limited repertoire of roles, which are strictly defined and inflexible. Rules are unbending and strictly enforced. These tendencies prevent the family from making adaptive changes when confronted by new circumstances and demands Applying the Circumplex Model, we would propose that therapy with rigid families target interventions to shift their organization to the structured range on the family adaptability dimension. Leadership, while still primarily authoritarian, would become less controlling and more egalitarian. Discipline would become somewhat more democratic, with consequences predictable, although still seldom lenient. Roles would be stable, with somewhat greater flexibility and sharing. Rules would allow for few changes and be firmly, yet less strictly, enforced. The chief therapeutic task with rigid families is to promote the interaction flexibility that is lacking. Tasks

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50 that facilitate more open communication, negotiated decision making, and experimental problem solving can be useful. At the same time, it is crucial to maintain stability in the family. A common clinical error with extremely rigid families is to push for too much change too fast, which typically only heightens these families' resistance to change In addition, the implications of this study serve to reinforce the need to address how women are socialized and what their belief systems are regarding sex roles. Social psychology theories are helpful in understanding the relationship between violence and sex roles (Walker, 1981) Females are socialized into roles that encourage their dependence on men. They are taught to be nurturing, compliant, and passive. At the same time, they are not taught effective responses to men's violence against them. Males are socialized into roles that encourage both dependence on and aggression toward females. Their role is to be intelligent, rational, and strong as well as the economic provider for their families. Their promised reward is a wife who will take care of their emotional needs and accept the expression of their frustrations. The outcome of such sex role socialization is reflected in high battering statistics (Walker, 1979) In a study of wife abuse, Strauss (1976) concluded that wife abuse is a reflection of the cultural norms of our society which legitimize marital

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51 violence and the sexist organization of both society and the family system. Along those same lines, Strauss et al (1980) further suggested that sex role conditioning teaches men to express this violent response against their wives. Whitehurst (1974) described a clash of ideologies between traditional, conservative, patriarchal husbands and non-traditional liberal wives as being at the root of marital violence. In addition, it has been suggested (Gayford, 1975; Roy, 1977) that experiencing child abuse or witnessing parental spouse abuse in the family of origin predisposes the husband to follow the role model that he learned in childhood. Similar experiences may predispose the wife to tolerate the abuse that she may have legitimized as a normal, expected aspect of married life (Fotjik, 19771978; Gayford, 1975; Gelles,1974; Roy, 1977). In this study 50.6% of the women reported violence in their family of origin. Presented in this review of the related literature was a model of family interactions which focuses on two major dimensions as methods for classifying families. This model specifies both functional and dysfunctional patterns of behavior. This study will attempt to demonstrate a difference in levels of cohesion and adaptability as they relate to current perceptions and ideal expectations for a marital relationship. Specifically, this study will provide support for the notion that battered women will have

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52 dysfunctional current relationships as they will fall into the Extreme type according to the Circumplex Model Moreover, this study predicts that these current relationships will fall into the rigidly-disengaged subtype on the model. This would be a family who on the cohesion dimension is disengaged, where family members "do their own thing, with limited attachment or commitment to their family. A disengaged relationship is one with extreme emotional separateness and little involvement among family members. There is alot of personal separateness and independence. On the adaptability dimension, this would be a rigid relationship where one person is highly controlling. The roles are strictly defined and the rules do not change. An additional hypothesis of this study is that the battered woman's ideal ratings will also be dysfunctional, but at the opposing end from rigidly-disengaged. Specifically, it is predicted that the ideal scores will fall into the very flexible-very connected subtype, also referred to as "chaotically enmeshed" This would be a family who on the cohesion dimension is enmeshed, there is extreme emotional closeness and loyalty is demanded. There is a lack of personal separateness and all energy is focused on the marital relationship. On the adaptability dimension, this would be a family with erratic or limited leadership where decisions are impulsive and not well thought out. Roles are unclear and often shift

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CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY The purpose of this study was to explore a battered woman's current perceptions of her relationship as well as her ideal expectations for such in regards to levels of adaptability and cohesion. The research methodology that was used in the investigation is presented in this chapter. The research design, hypotheses, participants, instrumentation, procedures, data collection, data analysis and limitations will be discussed. Population and Sample Because a definition for battered women has not yet been universally agreed upon by researchers and because it is difficult to measure the severity of one's abuse, two different groups of battered women were included in this study. The first population was battered women who were staying at the Dade County Women in Distress Shelter (SafeSpace) or at the group home (AFTA) The second population of battered women came from both the Broward County women in Distress Shelter and their outpatient therapy group. As is common with battered women's shelters throughout the United States, at times this shelter operates at capacity and 53

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54 places women's names on a waiting list for admission. In the case of a woman facing imminent potential for severe violence, this shelter works with other shelters for immediate placement and, via law enforcement or other avenues, transports the woman to a distant shelter. Battered women came to this shelter following telephone contact with the shelter to determine that they meet the criteria for admission. The admissions criteria for each shelter is the same: the women must have been recently battered and be in need of safe shelter without available refuge. Battered women are admitted to the shelter any time of day or night, any day of the week, depending on when they seek assistance. Many women who seek help from the shelter have exhausted financial and familial support. Many of the women who come to shelters heard about the services via an intervening police officer, public service advertising, a friend or family, or the advertised battered women's hotlines. Referrals to the shelters can come from the emergency rooms of the hospitals in the area. In addition, other referrals are made by the community crisis hotlines, police, clergy, rape crisis programs, women's health care clinics, and university and medical communities. To be included in this study, the women must have been battered and must have completed eight years of schooling according to their response on intake forms. The eight years of schooling was deemed an appropriate indication of a

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55 baseline ability to read and understand the instruments. Instrumentation Family Adaptability and Cohesiveness Evaluation Scales FACES II, an acronym for Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales, was developed by Olson, Bell and Portner (1981) to tap cohesion and adaptability. During the initial development of FACES II, 464 adults responded to 90 items. The average age of the respondents was 3 0.5. The 90 items covered the 15 content areas of cohesion and adaptability with six items per content area, some of which were items of the original FACES. On the basis of factor analysis and reliability analysis, the initial scale was reduced to 50 items. The 50 items of this initial FACES II were administered to 2,412 individuals in a national survey (Olson et al 1983) On the basis of factor analysis and reliability analysis, the 50-item scale was reduced to 30 items with 2-3 items for each of the 14 content areas. The final version of FACES II is a 30-item scale containing 16 cohesion items and 14 adaptability items (see Appendix E) There were two items for the following eight concepts related to the cohesion dimension: emotional bonding, family boundaries, coalitions, time, space, friends, decision-making, and interests and recreation. There were two or three items for the six concepts related to the adaptability dimensions: assert iveness, leadership.

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56 discipline, negotiations, roles and rules. FACES II provides an assessment of how individuals perceive their family system and also their ideal descriptions. The scores on cohesion and adaptability can be plotted onto the Circumplex Model to indicate the type of system they perceive and would like ideally. In addition, the perceivedideal discrepancy also provides a measure of family satisfaction, which indicates how satisfied individuals are with their current family system regardless of their family type. Ideally, the two dimensions in the Circumplex Model should be uncorrelated or orthogonal Cohesion and adaptability in FACES II meets this criteria (r=.25) In addition, the correlation between adaptability and social desirability was reduced by the authors to (r=.39) with some correlation between social desirability and cohesion (r=.38) The internal reliability and test-retest reliability are consistently high (r=.80) In terms of validity, therapists and researchers have evaluated the items in terms of face validity and find them to meet acceptable criteria (Olson, 1989) The scales also demonstrated that they have discriminate validity in that they distinguish between clinical and non-clinical families (Olson, 1986) Further, the scales demonstrated concurrent validity. That is, other instruments which measure constructs similar to cohesion and adaptability have high

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57 correlations with FACES II. Hampson, Hulgus and Beavers (1991) compared the Dallas Self-Report Family Inventory (SFI) with FACES II. They found the correlation between the SFI global measure of family health and the cohesion scale to be .93 and with the adaptability scale to be 79 A summary evaluation of FACES II in terms of reliability, validity, and clinical utility is provided in Appendix A. According to Olson et al (1979) very low or very high scores on the FACES are indicative of a dysfunctional family. Moderate scores on FACES are indicative of a functional family. Olson and associates also state that the adaptability and cohesion dimensions which form the model should be independent of each other. Several studies have tested the major hypothesis that balanced family types are more functional than extreme types. Clarke (1984) found a very high level of extreme families among neurotic and schizophrenic groups compared to the notherapy group. Conversely, he found a significant higher level of balanced families in the no-therapy group compared to the other groups Other studies have focused on alcoholic families in which the identified patient was the mother or father. Using the original Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES) Olson and Killorin (1984) found significant differences between the chemically dependent families and the nondependent families. As hypothesized, alcoholic

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58 families had a significantly higher level of extreme families compared to the nondependent families. A more recent study by Carnes (1987) that used FACES II investigated the family systems in sex offenders and found high levels of extreme family types in both their family of origin and their current family. Comparing 27 high risk families with 35 low risk families, Garbarino, Sebes, and Schellenbach (1985) focused on the type of family systems using the original FACES scale. As hypothesized by the Circumplex Model, they found the majority of the low risk families were balanced types while the majority of the high risk families were an extreme type. In addition, a recent study by Rodick, Henggler, and Hanson (1986) compared 58 mother-son dyads from fatherabsent families in which half had an adolescent juvenile offender and the other half had adolescents with no history of arrest or psychiatric referral. The results concluded that only 7% of the delinquents were balanced while 93% of the delinquent families were mid-range or extreme types. In contrast, 69% of the nondelinquent families were balanced while 31% were mid-range or extreme. In summary, these studies of clinical samples clearly demonstrate the discriminant power of the Circumplex Model in distinguishing between problem families and nonsymptomatic families. There is strong empirical support

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59 for the hypothesis that balanced types of families are more functional than extreme family types. Data Collection Procedures Data from both groups were collected by either a trained, full-time staff person from the shelter or by the researcher herself. The investigator met individually with each of the selected staff persons to train them in the procedures. Training involved the following components: 1) use of the letter introduction to the subject inviting participation, 2) determination that potential subject meets criteria for inclusion, 3) obtaining informed consent, 4) benefits/risks of participation, 5) methods to assure confidentiality, 6) instrument and instructions, 7) answering questions during administration, 8) procedures for follow-up contact, and 9) recording of data. The investigator monitored the data collection throughout the period by contact with the trained personnel and the shelter staff, and the review of the data as they were being collected. Additionally, personnel collecting the data could call the investigator at any time. Each woman volunteering to participate in the study was given a packet which included an introduction letter, instructions for the instrument, the instrument, and a demographic questionnaire (see Appendix A) Participants' names were not placed on the instruments

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60 to ensure confidentiality. Each packet was given a code number so as to identify from which group the data was obtained. FACES II was administered to the participants in this study independently and participants completed the scale either during the course of their outpatient treatment or during their stay at the Broward County Women in Distress Shelter or Dade County Women in Distress Shelter. The instrument was used in this study to assess family adaptability and cohesion --the two independent variables -by ascertaining battered women's perceptions and expectations of how their family should function. First the individual scores on adaptability and cohesion for both the "perceived" (how the respondents feel the family is now) and "ideal" (how the respondents would like the family to be) were calculated. These scores provide us with the individual placements on the Circumplex which we then plot to obtain a graphic picture of the family. Hypotheses/Data Analysis This study posed the following hypotheses: 1. Battered women's perceptions of their current relationships will be extreme according to the Circumplex Model 2. Battered women's perceptions of their current relationships will fall into the rigidly-disengaged subtype.

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51 3. Battered women's expectations for their ideal relationship will be extreme according to the Circumplex Model 4. Battered women's expectations for their ideal relationship will fall into the very connected-very flexible (chaotically-enmeshed) subtype. 5. There will be no significant differences between a subject's current score and her ideal score. 6. There will be no significant differences between the Dade and Broward samples The first five hypotheses were tested using chi-square analysis. The authors of FACES recommend looking at the data on FACES as categorical in nature and therefore argue that chi-square is the most appropriate statistic to use with this instrument (Olson, et al 1979) The chi-square technique was used to evaluate the relative frequencies that the FACES II scores of the battered women from both groups were placed in the balanced versus extreme ranges on the Circumplex Model as well as into which specific subtypes they were classified. For purposes of this analysis, the balanced typology represented moderate scores on the cohesion and adaptability scales, while the chaotically disengaged, chaotically enmeshed, rigidly disengaged, and rigidly enmeshed typologies constituted extreme scores. Hypothesis number six was also analyzed using chisquare, but several of the tests were not valid because

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62 comparing some of the demographics resulted in expected cell frequencies that were less than five. Chi-square is not an accurate assessment when this is the case. Hypothesis six was also analyzed using a t-test, but again this may not have been a valid choice as the data was not continuous in nature. An alpha level for significance was established at .05 as a conventional level of significance.

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CHAPTER IV RESULTS Sample Characteristics The total sample included 79 women. The Broward group consisted of 62 women, constituting 78.5% of the total sample, while the Dade group consisted of 17 women, who constituted the remaining 21.5% of the sample. Women from a shelter population comprised 72%, while the remaining 27.8% were drawn from an outpatient group in Broward County. Age A breakdown of the study participants by age and county appears in Table 4-1. The sample was predominantly in their twenties and thirties (80%) with the mean age being 31.28 years (SD=7.83). This age profile is quite similar to shelter samples from other research (see Appendix B) A more specific breakdown follows: 48% fall within the 21-29 year age bracket, 24.7% are between 3 and 3 5 years of age, 11.7% are between 36 and 40 years of age, 9.1% are between 41 and 45 years of age, and the remaining 6.5% are between 46 and 48 years of age. A t-test was conducted to determine if there were significant differences between the Dade and 63

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64 Broward women regarding age and found that the two groups did not significantly differ, t=1.17, df=26.49, p=.25. Therefore, there were no significant differences regarding age between the Dade and Broward women. Table 4-1 Age of Sample Broward Dade Total Group Group Sample n % n % n % 21-25 19 (30.7) 3 (20) 22 (28.6) 26-30 10 (16) 8 (53.3) 18 (23.4) 31-35 14 (22.6) 2 (13.4) 16 (20.8) 36-40 8 (12.8) 1 (6.7) 9 (11.7) 41-45 6 (9.6) 1 (6.7) 7 (9.1) 46-50 5 (8) (0.0) 5 (6.5) Race The vast majority of the sample was non-white (64.5%), which is somewhat common for samples including inner city shelters (e.g., Snyder & Fruchtman, 1981; Snyder & Scheer, 1981; see Appendix C) More specifically. Black women comprised 55.3% of the total sample, Hispanic women made up

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65 9.2% of the sample and the remaining 35.5% were Caucasian. In the Dade sample the breakdown was: 75% Black, 12.5% Caucasian, and 12.5% Hispanic. However, in the Broward sample. Blacks comprised only 50% of the sample, Hispanics 8.3% and the remaining 41.7% was Caucasian (see Table 4-2). The researcher ran a chi-square analysis to determine if the racial differences between the samples were statistically significant. This analysis indicated that although looking at the data there seemed to be differences regarding race between the samples, these differences were not statistically significant, x^=4.69, df=2, p=.10. Therefore, there are no significant differences regarding race between the samples Table 4-2 Race of Sample Broward Group n (%) Dade Group n %) Total Sample n (%) Black Hispanic White 30 (50) 5 (8.3) 25 (41.7) 12 (75) 2 (12.5) 2 (12.5) 42 (55.3) 7 (9.2) 27 (35.5)

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66 EmploYinent The majority of the women were employed, 63.6% while the remaining 36.4% were unemployed. Looking at the data, there seemed to be differences between the Broward and Dade groups with 68.9% of the Broward group being employed while only 43.8% of the Dade group reported holding a job (see Table 4-3) To determine if these differences were statistically significant, the researcher ran a chi-square analysis. This analysis indicated that these differences were not statistically significant, x^=2.5, df=l, p= 11 Therefore, although there appeared to be differences upon initial sight of the data, chi-square analysis indicated that there are no significant differences regarding employment between the two samples Table 4-3 Employment of Sample Broward Dade Total Group Group Sample n % n % n % Employed 42 (68.9) 7 (43.8) 49 (63.6] Unemployed 19 (31.1) 9 (56.3) 28 (36.4]

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67 Education Overall, the majority of the women had sought postsecondary education with 48.6% having some college education. An additional 36.5% of the women went to school through 12th grade and the remaining 14.9% had attended some high school, but dropped out prior to completion (see Table 4-4) A chi-square analysis to determine if there were significant differences regarding education between the Dade and Broward women would have produced expected cell frequencies of less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results In an effort to avoid expected cell frequencies of five or less, this researcher collapsed the original variable of education, consisting of six discrete categories, into a new variable, consisting of two categories: 1) participants with college experience and 2) participants with a high-school diploma or less. This chi-square analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women regarding education, x^=-17, df=l, p=.68.

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Table 4-4 Education of Sample 68 Grade Completed Broward Group n % Dade Group n % Total Sample n % 07 09 10 11 12 Some College 1 (1.7) 4 (6.8) 3 (5.1) 2 (3.4) 22 (37.3) 27 (45.8) (0.0) (0.0) 1 (6.7) (0.0) 5 (33.3) 9 (60.0) 1 (1.4) 4 (5.4) 4 (5.4) 2 (2.7) 27 (36.5) 36 (48.6) Children The participants' numbers of children are categorized in Table 4-5. The average number of children for the total sample was 1.83 (SD=1.25) Two women had 6 children, Four women had 4 children, Fourteen women had 3 children and 5 8 women had one or two Only one woman reported having no children. A t-test was conducted to determine if there were significant differences between the Dade and Broward women reagrding the number of children participants had and found that the groups did not signif icnatly differ in this reagrd, t=.28, df=22, p=.78.

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Table 4-5 Number of Children 69 Broward Group n % Dade Group n ^ Total Sample n '-. 1 2 3 4 6 5 (8.1) 23 (37.1) 18 (29.0) 12 (19.4) 2 (3.2) 2 (3.2) 4 (25.0) 2 (12.5) 6 (37.5) 2 (12.5) 2 (12.5) (0.0) 9 (11.5) 25 (32.1) 24 (30.8) 14 (17.9) 4 (5.1) 2 (2.6) Income The majority of the women (51.6%) reported an average annual income of below $15,000. Twenty-eight point one percent of the women reported an income of between $15,000 and $30,000 and the remaining 20.3% of the women reported an income of over $30,000. There were also differences between groups, with 64% of the Dade group earning under $5,000 while only 16% of the Broward group fell into this range. Contrastingly, 44% of the Broward group were making over $20,000 while only 14.3% of the Dade group were in this

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70 range. In terms of the womens' personal contribution to this income, 64.6% contributed to less than half of their family's income while 35.4 contributed over half (see Table 4-6) A chi-square analysis to determine if there were significant differences regarding income between the Dade and Broward women would have produced expected cell frequencies of less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results In an effort to avoid expected cell frequencies of five or less, this researcher collapsed the original variable of income, consisting of seven discrete categories, into a new variable, consisting of two categories: 1) participants with an income of $5,000 or less and 2) participants with an income of more than $5,000. However, this chi-square analysis would also have produced expected cell frequencies that were less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results.

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Table 4-6 Income of Sample 71 Broward Group n % Dade Group n % Total Sample n % $5,000 or less 8 (16.0) $5,001-$10,000 3 (6.0) $10, 001-$15, 000 11 (22.0) $15,001-$20,000 6 (12.0) $20,001-$25,000 7 (14.0) $25,001-$30, 000 4 (8.0) $30,001 and up 11 (22.0) 9 (64.3: 2 (14.3: (0.0) 1 (7.1) (0.0) (0.0) 2 (14.3: 17 (26.6) 5 (7.8) 11 (17.2) 7 (10.9) 7 (10.9) 4 (6.3) 13 (20.3) Characteristics of Abuse The women responded to various questions about the abuse they had suffered. Regarding how long the women were in their last abusive relationship: 15.8% had been in the relationship less than a year, another 15.8% had been in the relationship between 1 and 2 years, 3 9.5% had been in the relationship between 2.1 and 5 years, 6.6% had been in the relationship between 5.1 and 7 years, and 22.4% had been in for more than 7 years (see Table 4-7) A chisquare

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72 analysis to determine if there were significant differences regarding length in the past abusive relationship between the Dade and Broward women would have produced expected cell frequencies of less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results In an effort to avoid expected cell frequencies of five or less, this researcher collapsed the original variable of length of time in the past abusive relationship, consisting of five discrete categories, into a new variable, consisting of two categories: 1) participants who were in this relationship for two years or less and 2) participants in this relationship for more than two years. This chi-square analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Browrad women regarding the length of time in the last abusive relationship, x^=-63, df=l, p=.43. The women also reported how many different occasions they had been struck by their partner and the responses were the following: 44.2% had been struck 1 to 5 times, 13% were between 6 and 10, 7.8% were between 11 and 15, 5.2% were between 16 and 20, and 29.9% had been struck greater than 20 times (see Table 4-8) A chi-square analysis to determine if there were significant differences in this regard would have produced expected cell frequencies of less than five, so such an analysis could not be done because it would be likely to produce inaccurate results.

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73 In an effort to avoid expected cell frequencies of five or less, this researcher collapsed the original variable of the number of times particpants were struck by their partner, consisting of five discrete categories, into a new variable, consisting of two categories: 1) participants who were struck by their mate between one and five times and 2) participants who were struck by their mate six or more times. This chi-square analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Browrad women regarding the number of times they were struck by their mates, x'=l-01/ df=l, p=.32. Table 4-7 Lencfth of Abuse Broward Group n % Dade Group n 1 Total Sample n < 1 year 9 (14.5) 3 (21.4) 12 (15.8) 1-2 years 8 (12.9) 4 (28.6) 12 (15.8) 2 1-5 years 27 (43.5) 3 (21.4) 30 (39.5) 5 1-7 years 5 (8.1) (0.0) 5 (6.6) 7 1 or more 13 (21.0) 4 (28.6) 17 (22.4)

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74 Table 4-8 Frequency of Violence Broward Dade Total # of times Group Group Sample struck n % n % n % 1-5 29 (47.5) 5 (31.3) 34 (44.2) 6-10 7 (11.5) 3 (18.8) 10 (13.0) 11-15 2 (3.3) 4 (25.0) 6 (7.8) 16-20 4 (6.6) (0.0) 4 (5.2) > than 20 19 (31.1) 4 (25.0) 23 (29.9) Information concerning when this abusive relationship had ended, or if it had ended provided the following results: 7.8% reported that the abuse was still ongoing, 68.8% of the women reported the relationship ending less than a year ago, 14.3% were between 1 and 3 years, and 9.1% were more than 3 years (see Table 4-9) The researcher ran a chi-square analysis to determine if there were significant differences in regards to when the abuse had ended between the Dade and Broward women. This analysis indicated that there were no significant differences between the groups, X^=4.02, df=3, p=.26. Therefore, there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward samples in their

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75 responses to questions concerning when or if the abuse had ended. Table 4-9 When Abuse Ended Broward Group n Dade Group n % Total Sample n % < 1 year 1-3 years > 3 years Still Ongoing 40 (64.5) 9 (14.5) 7 (11.3) 6 (9.7) 13 (86.7: 2 (13.3! (0.0) (0.0) 53 (68.8) 7 (11.3) 7 (9.1) 6 (7.8) Information concerning how many abusive relationships these women had been in prior to this one found that for the majority of this sample (56.6%), this was their first abusive relationship. The average number of prior abusive relationships for the total sample was .82 (SD=1.51) Another 3 8.1% of the sample had been in one or two before, one subject had been in 4, two participants had been in 6, and one subject reported having been in 9 in the past (see Table 4-10) A t-test was conducted to determine if there were significant differences between the Dade and Broward

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76 women regarding the number of past abusive relationships participants had endured. This analysis showed that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women, t=1.26, df=74, p=.21. The final question concerned whether or not there was abuse in their family of origin. This seemed to be an even split as 50.6% reported there was some kind of abuse in their family of origin and the remaining 49.4% reported none. To determine if there were significant differences between the Dade and Broward women, chisquare analysis was run. This analysis indicated that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women regarding abuse in thier family of origin, x^=-01, df=l, p=.96. Table 4-10 Past Abusive Relationships Broward # of past Group relationships n % Dade Group n Total Sample n % none 1 2 4 6 34 (54.8) 16 (25.8) 8 (12.9) 1 (1.6) 2 (3.2) 1 (1.6) 9 5 (64.3) (35.7) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) (0.0) 43 (56.6) 21 (27.6) 8 (10.5) 1 (1.3) 2 (2.6) 1 (1.3)

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77 Analysis of Hypotheses One Through Six The first hypothesis was that there would be no significant difference in the family type scores of the battered women. The obtained ;r/=89.65, df=2, was significant, p<.0001 (see Table 4-11). Therefore, regarding their current relationship perceptions, a significant number of battered women are falling into the extreme family type. Table 4-11 Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling In Each of Three Possible Family Types Extreme Mid-Range Balanced Expected 26.33 26.33 26.33 Observed 66 7 6 Residual 39.67 -19.33 -20.33 The first condition of the second hypothesis was that on the cohesion dimension, their current relationships would be categorized as disengaged at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, i ''=76.66, df = 2, p<.0001 (see Table 4-12) Therefore, women are classified as disengaged on the cohesion dimension more often than would be expected by chance

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78 Table 4-12 Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of Three Possible Cohesion Categorizations Disengaged Separated Enmeshed Expected 26.33 26.33 26.33 Observed 63 9 7 Residual 36.67 -17.33 -19.33 The second condition of this hypothesis was that on the adaptability dimension, their current relationships would be categorized as rigid at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, x~=177.46, df=3, p<.0001 (see Table 4-13) Therefore, women are classified as rigid on the adaptability dimension more often than would be expected by chance Table 4-13 Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of Four Possible Adaptability Categorizations Rigid Structured Flexible Chaotic Expected 19 75 19. 75 19. 75 19 75 Observed 71 2 4 2 Residual 51 25 -17 .75 -15 .75 -17 .75

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79 The main point of the second hypothesis was that participants' current perceptions of their relationship could be categorized as rigidly-disengaged at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, x^=23.41, df=l, p<.0001 (see Table 4-14). Therefore, battered women's scores placed them in the rigidly-disengaged subtype more often than would be expected. Table 4-14 Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of 16 Possible Combinations Rigidly-Disengaged All Other Combinations Expected 39.50 39.50 Observed 61 18 Residual 21.50 -21.50 The third hypothesis was that battered women's expectations for their ideal relationship could be categorized as Extreme at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, :r'=43.85, df = 2, p<.0001 (see Table 4-15) However, looking at the residuals between the observed and expected revealed that fewer individuals were falling into the extreme family type than what this

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80 researcher had expected to find. The category that actuallycontributed most to the overall significant chi-square was the balanced family type. Therefore, this hypothesis was not supported. Table 4-16 Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Falling Into Each of Three Possible Family Types Extreme Mid-Range Balanced Expected 26.33 26.33 26.33 Observed 25 3 51 Residual -1.33 -23.33 24.67 The first condition of the fourth hypothesis was that on the cohesion dimension, their ideal expectations would be categorized as enmeshed at a better than chance frequency. Chi-square analysis indicated that the results were statistically significant, x^=23.03, df =3 p<.0001 (see Table 4-16) However, looking at the residuals between the observed and expected revealed that fewer individuals were falling into the enmeshed category than what this researcher had expected to find. The category that actually contributed most to the overall significant chi-square was the separated category. Therefore, this aspect of the fourth hypothesis was not supported.

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81 Table 4-: Observed L6 and Expected Freauencies of Individual Participants Fallinq rnto Each of Four Possible Cohesion Cat sgorizations Disengaged Separated Connected Enmeshed Expected Observed Residual 19.75 27 7.25 19.75 2 -17.75 19.75 29 9.25 19.75 21 1.25 The second condition of the fourth hypothesis was that on the adaptability dimension, participants' ideal expectations would be categorized as chaotic at a better than chance frequency. Chi -square analysis indicatd that the results were statistically significant, %''=55.33, df = 3, p<.0001 (see Table 4-17). Therefore, women's ideal expectations along the adaptability dimension were categorized as chaotic at a better than chance frequency. Table 4-17 Observed and Expected Frequencies of Individual Participants Fallinq Into Each of Four Possible Adaptability Categorizations Rigid Structured Flexible Chaotic Expected 19 .75 19. 75 19. 75 19 75 Observed 24 4 6 45 Residual 4. 26 -15 .75 -13 .75 25 25

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82 The main point of the fourth hypothesis was that participants' ideal expectations for a marital relationship would fall into the chaotically-enmeshed subtype on the Circumplex Model at a better than chance frequency. Chisquare analysis indicated that the results were not statistically significant, :('=4.35, df = 2, p< 12 (see Table 4-18) These data do not support the fourth hypothesis. Table 4-: Observed L8 and Expected Freauencies of Indivi dual Participants Falling : Ento Each of 16 Different Combinations ChaoticallyEnmeshed RigidlyDisengaged All Others Expected Observed Residual 26.33 21 -3.33 26.33 23 -5.33 26.33 35 8.67 The fifth hypothesis was that there would be no significant differences between participants' scores on their current perceptions and those for their ideal expectations. Olson and associates (1979) argued that one way to look at a person's satisfaction in her current relationship is to look at the discrepancy between these two scores. If the discrepancy is small, one may conclude that the person is satisfied with the state of his or her current relationship. A chi-square contingency test was attempted, but 7 out of the 9 cells did not have enough observations to

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83 effectively use this test. However, what is worth noting is that 64 participants were categorized as Extreme on both their current and ideal scores. The final hypothesis was that there would be no significant differences in scores on FACES II between the Broward and Dade groups. A t-test was conducted and found that on the current perception responses, the two groups did not significantly differ, t=-.78, df=21.62, p<.444. Additionally, a chi-square analysis was conducted and also indicated that the two groups did not significantly differ, X''=2.09, df=3, p<.55. However, in looking at responses to the ideal, it was found that there were significant differences between groups with the mean for the Broward group exceeding the mean for the Dade group, t=3.48, df=23.71, p<.002. Additionally, chi-square analysis was significant %"=11.87, df=2, p<003. Therefore, it can be concluded that scores for this version were significantly different between the groups. However, overall significant differences were found, as stated in prior hypotheses, despite the differences between the samples. Summary of Findings Maintaining the predictions, the participants' current perceptions were categorized as Extreme at a better than chance frequency. Further, these perceptions fell into the

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84 rigidly-disengaged subtype at a better than chance frequency, as predicted. However, contrasting the initial predictions, the women's ideal expectations were not categorized as Extreme and accordingly, did not fall into the chaotically-enmeshed subtype at a better than chance frequency. In terms of the participants' satisfaction with their relationship, measured by the discrepancy between their current and ideal scores, conclusions cannot safely be drawn as the conditions of the anlysis were violated. There were no significant differences found between the Dade and Broward women on the demographic variables Additionally, there were no significnat differences found on the scores for their current perceptions. However, differences were found on the scores for their ideal expectations. These findings will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter five.

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CHAPTER IV DISCUSSION Discussion of Results The first prediction in this study was that battered women's perceptions of their current relationships would be extreme according to the Circumplex Model The data clearly supported this hypothesis. This particular finding is not surprising when one considers the state of a battering relationship. An extreme classification, as was described earlier, is a natural result of a relationship characterized with dysfunction and a lack of balance with regard to cohesion and adaptability. Olson and his associates (1979) have stated that extreme relationships are often problematic for their members. The second prediction was that subjects' current perceptions would be categorized as rigidly-disengaged. The data clearly supported this hypothesis. A rigidlydisengaged relationship is one in which there is extreme emotional separateness Members often "do their own thing" and have separate interests. One person in the relationship is highly controlling and the roles are strictly defined so that rules never change. To illustrate the rigidly85

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86 disengaged relationship for this population, we need to describe its meaning in relational terms. As just stated, the rigid rules are usually clear to both parties. According to Walker, both the women and the men engage in manipulation of each other and of others who impinge on their relationships. The women assume responsibility for keeping the environment stress free, so as not to upset their batterer, while the batterer works on controlling the woman (Walker, 1981) The batterer needs to feel he has power over her so he uses possessive behavior and demands to know everything she thinks about and does Batterers do not trust their women to make independent decisions and judgements The clinical issues one deals with when working with battered women include, but are not limited to the following: low self-esteem, denial, manipulation, passivity, and lack of body integration (Walker, 1981) Further, for these women, their negative self images are further reinforced by the sex role stereotypes that create expectations of how they should perform the role of wife. If a woman cannot live up to all the unrealistic, rigid traditions, she is more likely to accept the batterer's accusations and his distortions of her failures. Cognitive restructuring to broaden perceived choices is needed. The third hypothesis was that participants' expectations for their ideal relationships would be

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87 classified as extreme, according to the Circumplex Model. The data did not support this hypothesis, but found that the majority of participants fell into the balanced category. This finding is enlightening because it indicates that participants do desire a healthy relationship. It would seem apparent from these findings that these women are not satisfied in their current relationship and do desire a change. This finding makes sense when one considers that the majority of this sample came from a shelter where women go when they have made a choice to leave their partner. Moving to a shelter is one indication that they are unsatisfied with the state of their current relationships. Similarly, it can be expected that the women from the outpatient group are also unsatisfied as they, too, are seeking help. One could speculate that perhaps at this point, these women are unsure about how to produce any further change, what kinds of relationships to seek out and how to maintain the dimensions of cohesion and adaptability at a healthy state of functioning. Again, the need to explore and restructure their cognitive framework becomes apparent. The fourth prediction was that participants' ideal expectations could be categorized as chaotically-enmeshed at a betterthan-chance frequency. The data did not support this hypothesis. However, when each dimension was examined separately, the data did support the idea that a significant proportion of the participants were classified as chaotic on

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the adaptability dimension. A chaotic relationship has erratic or limited leadership. Decisions are usually impulsive and poorly thought out. Roles are unclear and often shift from person to person. This depiction opposes the traditional description of a battering relationship. In comparing these scores with those for participants' current perceptions, it seems that these women do desire change on this dimension, but that the desired change is in such opposition to the current relationship that they are at the opposite extreme, i.e. they have moved from a classification of chaotic to a classification of rigid. As stated previously, extreme relationships are problematic for their members. It is important to broaden women's perceived choices to aid them in arriving at some middle ground. In addition to this finding for the adaptability dimension, a significant proportion of the participants fell on the high end of the cohesion scale. When cohesion levels are high, there is too much consensus in the relationship and too little independence (Olson, 1989) Although a significant number of the women were not categorized as "enmeshed", the majority of the women fell towards the higher end of the connected category. This again illustrates that the women do desire change from their current relationship, but are perhaps too extreme in the amount of change they desire. It is important to eductae these women on what would be considered "healthy"

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89 functioning so as to help them move towards the "balanced" category. The fifth prediction was that there would be no significant differences between both the current and ideal scores. A chi-square contingency test was run, but 7 out of the 9 cells did not have enough observations to effectively use this test. The authors of the Circumplex Model have professed that the difference between these scores is a measure of one's satisfaction with their current relationship. Accordingly, no significant difference would imply satisfaction with the current state of the relationship. As previously discussed, I do not think this is the case. Moreover, the data from the fourth prediction seem to indicate that the classification of the subtype would not be categorized as rigidly disengaged as it was with their current perceptions. Additionally, their ideal scores were categorized as balanced, where as their current scores were categorized as extreme. Therefore, one could infer that the participants do desire change and are clear about what kinds of changes, but on at least one of the dimensions, they are too extreme in the amount of change they seek. These findings also appear to be consistent with the published research. The study of Claerhout, Elder, and Janes (1982) supported the research of Walker (1979) Hilberman (1977) and Greely (1978) which suggested that

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90 battered women do not typically perceive alternative ways of responding in a battering situation. Claerhout and colleagues also concluded that battered women were far less likely to generate effective response alternatives and more likely to produce avoidant and dependent ineffective alternatives than were the nonbattered participants. This again illustrates the importance of expanded their realm of thinking both in terms of sex roles and problem solving. The final prediction was that there would be no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women with regard to their scores on FACES II. Both the t-test and chisquare analysis found that there were no significant differences on particpant's current scores. However, both a t-test and chi-square analysis did find that there were significant differences on their ideal scores. This researcher feels that this finding should be interpreted with caution as neither of these tests were ideal choices for this analysis. A t-test should be used with interval or continuous data, not categorical data. And although the chi-square analysis is appropriate for categorical data, there were too many cells with expected frequencies that were less than five so this analysis is likely to produce inaccurate results. Additionally, the analyses for the demographic data repeatedly found that there were no significant differences between the Dade and Broward women. This researcher believes that there are no significant

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91 differences between the groups, but she could not conclude this with certainty, because of mixed statistical results. Limitations of the Study and Future Suggestions There are several drawbacks in the design of the present study that need to be taken into account when discussing the results and their implications. First, all the women in the sample were volunteers who were comfortable sharing their battering experience. Most important of all is the fact that they have taken a major step to leave the abusive situation, were ready to reassess their past experience, and were willing to explore alternatives and make some changes in their current lives. Therefore, one may speculate that this group of battered women is likely to be different from battered women who are still living with their abusive mates. An even better design to test the perceptions and expectations of battered women would be to test those that come to a shelter, as well as battered women who are still living with their abusive partners. Therefore, it should be stressed that this study is exploratory in nature and that the findings may be specific to this particular group of women. An additional area of concern is that these scores reflect only one member of the family's perception of family functioning. It has been shown that members often do not agree with each other in describing their family system

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92 (Olson, et al 1989) However, the nature of this study was to explore the perceptions and expectations of the battered women and the researcher was not necessarily interested in her partner's perceptions and expectations. Perhaps future studies could measure these and search for similarities and discrepancies in an effort to find where these occur and if any patterns exist. Although there are some limitations to this study in addition to the restrictions on generalizability imposed by non-random samples, their contribution to our understanding of wife abuse should not be ignored. As Pagelow (1981) has suggested, "Each case study may contribute additional insight into the problem. The additive effect of many select samples may be the best means to knowledge-building, provided limitations applicable to each are kept in mind when drawing conclusions" (p. #237). In an effort to better utilize the results of this study, norms derived from other major studies in the field were used as a basis for comparison. By comparing the results of the current study to normative data, a more comprehensive profile of the battered woman will be obtained.

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93 Discussion of Demographics Race The sample in the current study apparently overrepresents black and other minority women in the battered women group. One should not prematurely infer that wife abuse is more prevalent among ethnic and racial minorities for several reasons. First, many Caucasian women are excluded from the shelter population because they tend to have alternative resources that enable them to avoid going to a shelter. And, second, the shelters that the sample of battered women in this study were drawn from are located in predominately black areas in both the Dade and Broward Counties Previous research findings on the racial composition of the samples studied reveal an ambiguous picture. Some studies show that the racial/ethnic composition of their samples tend to be representative of the racial distribution of the population where the study was conducted (Carlson, 1977; Star, 1978) Other studies have suggested that wife abuse is highest among blacks (Stark & McEvoy, 1970; Strauss et al. 1981) Strauss et al (1981) proposed that the stress, discrimination, and frustration that minorities encounter and the fact that minorities are still disenfranchised from many advantages enjoyed by majority group members can lead to higher rates of violence toward women. They argue that

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94 minority men use violence against their partners to compensate for the state of powerlessness they experience in society at large. It seems as if the home functions as the only domain where they can assert their power and dominance and can live up to the culturally-prescribed "macho image" of man, which encourages the use of physical aggression. Education The educational attainment of battered women in this study seems to be consistent with the findings of Carlson (1977) and Hofeller (1982) with the tendency to have fewer women at the lowest level (grade school) and at the highest level of education (graduate school) In addition, it was helpful to compare the results of the present sample with Pagelow's (1981) findings, which were derived from a large sample of 347 battered women in shelter settings. Pagelow closely examined the similarity and discrepancy between the educational attainment of battered women in her survey sample and national statistics on the educational level of wives in the United States of America. The education of women in Pagelow' s sample, in the current study, and national statistics is presented in Table 2 The comparison reveals that battered women in both samples are not as undereducated as women in the national sample at the lowest category, grade school. In contrast to national-sample women, battered women had a greater tendency

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95 tend to dropout from high school and college. Fewer women in the current sample graduated from high school At the upper levels of education, battered women in this sample differed from the other two samples in that fewer women graduated from college. The findings of this study are consistent with Strauss et al s (1980) survey results, which challenge the common view that family violence occurs predominately among the least educated families. On the contrary, results of the present study indicated that a large percentage of the sample was college educated. Strauss et al (1980) suggested an explanation for the complex relationship between violence and education in terms of a person's relative, rather than absolute, educational attainment. They argued that it is more stressful to an individual to have a moderate education than to have little education. People with average education, for example high school diplomas, may feel cut off from the high status, well -paying professional jobs. Therefore, the moderately educated worker may experience more stress and frustration than the uneducated worker. It would be interesting to study the relationship between dropout and violence. In the current study there is no available information regarding the factors that contributed to making the decision to drop out of college or high-school. It is also not clear whether people dropped out before or after they were involved with

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96 their abusive partners. Income Results of this study do not support the Strauss et al (1980) finding regarding the relationship between violence and family income. They found that families living at or below the poverty line (under $5,999) had a rate of violence between husbands and wives that was 500% greater than the rate of spousal violence in the most well-to-do families (incomes over $20,000) In contrast to the Strauss et al results, this study did not find any significant differences between women at the lower and upper levels of the continuum. Data from this study suggest that income does not play a significant role in identifying victims of violence. These results challenge the conventional thinking that violence is confined to poor families. Battered women in this study were distributed among the various income brackets. Some earned wages that were below poverty line, and others earned more than $20,000 a year. ConcludincT Remarks Prior studies have clearly demonstrated the discriminant power of FACES and the Circumplex Model in distinguishing between problem families and nonsymptomatic families. There has been strong empirical support for the

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97 hypothesis that balanced families are more functional than extreme family types. In previous reserach, there has been a lack of evidence that any of these symptoms are specifically linked with a specific type of family system, for example, rigidly disengaged. This was the hope of early family research linking family symptoms (a schizophrenic offspring) and family systems (Olson, 1986) In this study, it was found that these women could be linked to a specific type of family system and it is the hope of this researcher that others will continue along this course. In summary, wife abuse is such a multidimensional phenomenon that treatment necessitates taking into account many more factors than perceptions and expectations of relationships. I agree with Pressman (1989) who argues for an integrated treatment approach that takes into account cultural factors, the influence of early learning and life experiences, the nature and management of trauma, the types of alignments and boundaries that develop in the unit, as well as the interactional patterns between the couple.

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APPENDIX A EVALUATION OF FACES II

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Evaluation of FACES II Theoretical Domain and Model Assessment Level Family Systems Circumplex Model Family as whole Focus of Assessment Number of Scales and Items Norms Normative Sample Clinical Reliability Internal Consistency Test Retest Validity Face Validity Content Validity Correlation between Scales Perceived, Ideal; Satisfaction 2 Scales; 3 items total; 16 cohesion items; 14 adaptability items n = 2453 adults n =412 adolescents Several types of problem families Very good evidence Cohesion (r = .87) Adaptability (r = .78) Total (r = .68) FACES II (4-5 weeks) r = .83 for cohesion r=.80 for adaptability Very good evidence Very good evidence Cohesion & Adaptability (r = .25.65) 99

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100 Correlation with SD & Adaptability Social Desirability (r = .38) SD & Cohesion (r = .39) Concurrent Validity Good evidence (linear relationship) Clinical Utility Usefulness of Self Report Scale Very good evidence Ease of Scoring Easy Clinical Rating Scale Yes

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APPENDIX B COMPARISON STUDIES ON EDUCATION

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Education of Current Women Compared With Pagelow' s Sample and National Statistics Response CategorySample Women % Pagelow' s Sample o, o National Women % Grade School 1.4 5.2 13.0 High school attended 13.5 25.4 16.0 High school graduate 36.5 34.6 45 College attended 48.6 26.2 14.0 Graduate School 2.3 4.0 102

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APPENDIX C COMPARISON STUDIES ON DEMOGRAPHICS

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Comparison Demographics from Other Battered Women Studies Characteristic Okun Studv198 6 Pagelow & Studv19 81 Snyder Fruchtman Studv1981 N 300 350 89 Shelter Sample 100% 90.6% 100% Location Michigan California Detroit & Florida Mean Age 27.7 29.9 29.2 Age Range 16-55 17-68 17-58 Average Number of Children 1.84 2.3 White 237 (79%) 271 (78% ) 30(34%) Nonwhite 63 (21%) 77 (22%) 59 (66%) 104

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105 Snyder Stacey & Star & Scheer Shupe et al Walker Study1981 Study1983 Study1979 Study-1984 74 538 57 403 100% 100% 80% Detroit Texas Florida Colorado & Surrounding Region 30.0 32.0 32.2 17-54 18-59 2.02 27 (36%) 343 (64%) 40 [10% r) 321(86%) 47 (64%) 195 (36%) 17 (30^ r) 51(14%)

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APPENDIX D DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE

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Department of Psychology PO Box 112250 Gainesville, FL 32611 (904) 392-0601 Fax: (904) 392-7985 DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE Please respond to all of the questions by indicating the appropriate response in the spaces provided. 1 Age 2 Race 3 Occupation 4 Education 5. Do you have children? 6. If yes, how many? 7. How much income (annually) did your family have? 8. What amount did you contribute to this income? 9. How long have you been/were you in this abusive relationship? 10. On how many different occasions were you struck by your partner? Please check: 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 Greater than 20 11. How long ago did this relationship end? 12. Have you been in any abusive relationships prior to this one? If yes, how many? 13 Was there physical abuse in your family of origin (i.e. father hit mother or parents hit you, etc.) 14. If there was, what kind of abuse? 107

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APPENDIX E FAMILY ADAPTABILITY AND COHESIVENESS EVALUATION SCALES

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FACES II: Couples Version David H. Olson, Joyce Portner & Richard Bell Please answer all of the following items according to the scale below. 1 2 3 4 5 Almost Never Once in Awhile Sometimes Frequently Almost Always Describe Your Marriage : 1. We are supportive of each other during difficult times. 2. In our relationship, it is easy for both of us to express our opinion. 3 It is easier to discuss problems with people outside the marriage than with my partner. 4. We each have input regarding major family decisions. 5. We spend time together when we are home. 6. We are flexible in how we handle differences. 7. We do things together. 8. We discuss problems and feel good about the solutions. 9. In our marriage, we each go our own way. 10. We shift household responsibilities between us. 11. We know each other's close friends. 12 It is hard to know what the rules are in our relationship 13. We consult each other on personal decisions. 14. We freely say what we want. 15. We have difficulty thinking of things to do together. 16. We have a good balance of leadership in our marriage. 17. We feel very close to each other. 18. We operate on the principle of fairness in our marriage. 19. I feel closer to people outside the marriage than to my partner 20. We try new ways of dealing with problems. 21. I go along with what my partner decides to do. 22. In our marriage, we share responsibilities. 23. We like to spend our free time with each other. 24. It is difficult to get a rule changed in our family. 25. We avoid each other at home. 26. When problems arise, we compromise. 27. We approve of each other's friends. 28. We are afraid to say what is on our minds. 29. We tend to do things more separately. 30. We share interests and hobbies with each other. 109

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110 FACES II: Couples Version David H. Olson, Joyce Portner & Richard Bell Please answer all of the following items according to the scale below 1 2 3 4 5 Almost Never Once in Awhile Sometimes Frequently Almost Always IDEALLY, how would you like YOUR MARRIAGE TO BE: 1. We would be supportive of each other during difficult times 2. In our relationship, it would be easy for both of us to express our opinion. 3 It would be easier to discuss problems with people outside the marriage than with my partner. 4. We would each have input regarding major family decisions 5. We would spend time together when we are home. 6. We would be flexible in how we handle differences. 7. We would do things together. 8 We would discuss problems and feel good about the solutions 9. In our marriage, we would each go our own way. 10. We would shift household responsibilities between us. 11. We would know each other's close friends. 12 It would be hard to know what the rules are in our relationship 13. We would consult each other on personal decisions. 14 We would freely say what we want 15. We would have difficulty thinking of things to do together. 16. We would have a good balance of leadership in our marriage 17. We would feel very close to each other. 18. We would operate on the principle of fairness in our marriage 19. I would feel closer to people outside the marriage than to my partner. 20. We would try new ways of dealing with problems. 21. I would go along with what my partner decides to do. 22. In our marriage, we would share responsibilities. 23. We would like to spend our free time with each other. 24 It would be difficult to get a rule changed in our family. 25. We would avoid each other at home. 26. When problems arise, we would compromise. 27. We would approve of each other's friends. 28. We would be afraid to say what is on our minds.

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Ill 29. We would tend to do things more separately. 30. We would share interests and hobbies with each other.

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APPENDIX F INTRODUCTORY LETTERS

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Department of Psychology PO Box 112250 Gainesville, FL 32611 (904) 392-0601 Fax: (904) 392-7985 Dear Research Participant, Thank you for agreeing to participate in my study, "A Comparison of Battered and Non-Battered Women Regarding Their Ideal Marital Relationship", that looks at the factors related to women getting into and remaining in abusive relationships. Enclosed you will find a letter describing the study and asking for your voluntary participation in addition to two questionnaires for you to complete. Please complete the questionnaires and return it to the designated place. Your prompt response will be appreciated. Please ask the designated staff member if you have any questions. Thank you again for your interest and participation. Sincerely, Jodi Samuels 113

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114 Department of Psychology PO Box 112250 Gainesville, FL 32611 (904) 392-0601 Fax: (904) 392-7985 Dear Research Participant, I would like to request your participation in a research study I am conducting. I am a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. I am conducting a study on battered women. Specifically, my purpose is to examine the factors that might help explain why women get into and remain in abusive relationships through a couple questionnaires I am attempting to locate women who have been physically struck by their mates (husband, boyfriend, ex-husband) within the past two years. In order to participate in this study, women must have completed an eighth grade education. Participation in this study involves completion of a questionnaire containing two parts with 3 items each and completion of a short questionnaire designed to obtain background information. This all should take less than 3 minutes for you to complete. All responses are anonymous and therefore it will not be possible to ever connect you with the responses provided. The questionnaires will have a number at the top and this is simply to match the packet back together should anything get separated.

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115 As much as I would like to compensate each woman for her participation, the most I can offer is my gratitude for helping in a study that I hope will contribute to the safety of battered women. To those who are interested, a copy of the results of this study will be available through "Women in Distress" You do not have to answer any questions that you do not wish to answer and should you have any questions or concerns during or after participation in this study, a designated staff member is available to address these. Participation or non-participation in this study will not affect your status at any "Women in Distress" program. You are free to withdraw participation at any time. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope that you will agree to participate. I am eager to have your involvement in this study. Sincerely, Jodi Samuels

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APPENDIX G DEBRIEFING LETTER

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Department of Psychology PO Box 112250 Gainesville, FL 32611 (904) 392-0601 Fax: (904) 392-7985 Dear Research Participant, Thank you very much for participating in this study. The intent of this study was to measure your current perception of the relationship you have/had with your partner and what your ideal expectation would be for a relationship. It is important to determine how close those two measures would be and whether or not your ideal expectations could be considered potentially problematic. If you are interested in the results of this study you can obtain them in approximately 6 months from the same place you received these materials or by contacting me at the address printed above. If you have suffered any psychological/emotional stress or discomfort from participating in this study, you can call Women in Distress at 760-9800 where counseling will be made available or any other assistance needed. 117

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REFERENCE LIST Abramson, L.P., Seligman, M.E.P., & Teasdale, J.D. (1978). Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulations. Journal of Abnormal Psvcholocrv, 87(1) 49-74 Alfaro, J.D. Project Director. (1978) Summary report on the relationship between child abuse and neglect and later socially deviant behavior. New York State Select Committee on Child Abuse. Bakan, D. (1971) Slaughter of the innocents: A study of the battered child phenomenon. Boston: Beacon Press. Ball, M. (1977) Issues of violence in family casework. Social Casework, 58, 3-12. Bandura, A. (1973) Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Bandura, A. & Walters, R.H. (1973) Social learning and personality development. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Bard, M. & Zacker, J. (1974) Assaultiveness and alcohol use in family disputes: Police perceptions. Criminology, 12, 281-292. Berk, R., Berk, S.F., Loeske, D., & Rauma, D. (1983). Mutual combat and other family violence myths (pp 197-212) In D. Finkelhor, R. Gelles, G. Hotaling, & M. Straus (Eds.), Dark side of families. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications Browne, A. (1987) When battered women kill. New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan. Brownmiller, S. (1975). Against our will: Women, men, and rape New York: Simon and Schuster. Carlson, B. (1977). Battered women and their assailants. Social Work, 22, 455-460. 118

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121 Gayford, J.J. (1975) Wife battering: A preliminary survey of 100 cases. British Medical Journal, 1, 194-197. Gelles, R.J. (1972) The violent home : A study of the physical acrcrression between husbands and wives. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Gelles, R.J. (1974) The Violent Home. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Gelles, R.J. (1976) Abused wives: Why do they stay? Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 659-668. Gelles, R.J. (1977) No place to go : The social dynamics of marital violence. In M. Ray (Ed), Battered Women: A psychosocioloQical study of domestic violence. New York : Van Nostrand Reinhold. Gelles, R.J. & Cornell, D. (1985) Intimate violence in families Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Gil, D.G. (1970) Violence against children: Physical child abuse in the United States. Cambridge, MA: Howard University Press. Gillen, J.L. (1946). The Wisconsin prisoner: Studies in crimogenesis Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Gilligan, C. (1982) In a different voice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Goetzel, V. (1973) Mental illness and cultural beliefs in a Southern Italian immigrant family. Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal, 18, 219-222. Goode, W.J. (1971) Force and violence in the family. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 33, 624-636. Greeley, J.E. (1978). Treatment perspectives on domestic violence in rural areas. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Council of Community Mental Health Centers, Inc., Silver Spring, MD. Green, R.G., Harris, R.N., Jr. Forte, J.A. & Robinson, M. (1991). Evaluating FACES III and the Circumplex Model: 2,440 families. Family Process, 30, 55-73. Hampson, R.B., Hulgus, Y.F., & Beavers, W.R. (1991). Comparisons of self-report measures of the Beavers Systems Model and Olson's Circumplex Model. Journal of Family Psychology, 4(3), 3 2 6-340.

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122 Hansen, J.C. & Barnhill, L.R. (1982) Clinical approaches to family violence. Rockville, MD : Aspen Publications. Hartik, L.M. (1982) Identification of personality characteristics and self-concept factors of battered wives Palo Alto, CA: R & E Research Associates. Hendricks, M. (1982) Feminist Spirituality. In Feminist therapy: A coming of age. Selected Papers from the Advanced Feminist Therapy Institute, Vail, Colorado. Herzberger, S.D. (1983) Social cognition and the transmission of abuse. In D. Finkelhor, R.J. Gelles, G.T. Hotaling, & M.A. Straus (Eds.), The dark side of familiees: Current family violence research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Hilberman, E. & Munson, K. (1977) Sixty battered women. Victimolocry, 2, 460-470. Hilberman, E. (1980) The wife beater's wife reconsidered. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137, 1336-1347. Hofeller, K.H. (1982). Social, psychological and situational factors in wife abuse. Palo Alto, CA: R&E Research Associates Hornug, C, McCullough, B., & Sugimoto, T. (1981). Status relationships in marriage: Risk factors in spouse abuse. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 43, 679-692. Hotaling, G.T. & Sugarman, D.B. (1986) An analysis of risk markers in husband to wife violence: The current state of knowledge. Violence and Victims, 1(2), 101-124. Jones, A. (1980) Women who kill New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Kalmuss, D.S. (1984). The intergenerational transmission of marital aggression. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46 (1) 11-19. Kaplan, A.G. & Surrey, J.L. (1984) The relational self in women: Developmental theory and public policy. In L.E. Walker (Ed.), Women and mental health policy. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Killorin, E. & Olson, D. (1980). Clinical application of the Circumplex Model to chemically dependent families. Unpublished manuscript.

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123 Kohlberg, L. (1969) Stage and sequence: The cognitivedevelopment approach to socialization. In D.A. Goslin (Ed. ) Handbook of socialization theory and research. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally. Leidig, M.W. (1981) Violence against women: A feministpsychological analysis, pp. 190-205. In S. Cox (Ed.), Female psvcholocry: The emercfinq self, 2nd ed. New York: St .Martin' s Press. Lewin, T. (1979) When victims kill. National Law Journal, 2 (7) 2-4,11. Lindsey, K. (1978) When battered women strike back: Murder or self defense. Viva, 58-59; 66-74. Lystad, M.H. (1975) Violence at home: A review of the literature. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 45, 328345. Maurer, A. (1976) Physical punishment of children. Paper presented at the California Sate Psychological Convention, Anaheim. Martin, D. (1976) Battered wives. San Fransisco, CA: Glide Publications McClelland, D.C. (1975). Power: The inner experience. New York, NY: Irvington. McCord, J. (1979) Some child-rearing antecedents of criminal behavior in adult men. Journal of Personality and Social Psycholocry, 37, 1477-1486. Michigan's Women's Commission. (1977). Domestic assault: A report on family violence in Michicran. Lansing, MI: State of Michigan. Miller, J.B. (1976) Toward a new psycholocry of women. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Miller, A. (1983) For your own good: Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence. New York, NY: Farrar, Strauss, & Giroux. Miller, A. (1986) Thou shalt not be aware: Society's betrayal of the child. New York, NY: Meridian. Mills, T. (1985). The assault on the self: Stages in coping with battering husbands. Qualitative Sociolocry, 8, 103123

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124 Minuchin, S., Montalvo, B., Guerney, B., Rossman, B.L., & Schumer, F. (1967) Families of the slums. New York, NY: Basic Books. Moore, D.M. (1979) Battered women. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. NiCarthy, G. Merriam, K. & Coffman, S. (1984). Talking it out: A guide to groups for abused women. Seattle, WA: The Seal Press. O'Brien, J. (1971) Violence in divorce prone families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 33, 692-698. Okun, L. (1986) Woman abuse: Facts replacing myths. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Olson, D.H. (1986). Circumplex Model VII: Validation studies and FACES III. Family Process, 25. 337-351. Olson, D.H. (1989). Circumplex model of family systems VIII: Family assessment and intervention. In Olson, Rossel, & Sprenkle (Eds.), Circumplex model : Systemic assessment and treatment of families. New York, NY: Haworth Press. Olson, D.H. (1993). Circumplex model of marital and family systems: Assessing family functioning. In Walsh, F. (1993) Normal Family Process. NY/London: The Guilford Press Olson, D.H., Bell, R., & Portner, J. (1978). Family adaptability and cohesiveness evaluation scale, (test manual). St. Paul, MN: Family Social Science, University of Minnesota. Olson, D.H. & Killorin, E. (1984) Clinical rating scale for circumplex model. St. Paul, MN: Family Social Science, University of Minnesota. Olson, D.H., McCubbin, H.I., Barnes, H., Larsen, A., Muxen, M., & Wilson, M. (1983) Families: What makes them work. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Olson, D.H., McCubbin, H.I., Barnes, H., Larsen, A., Muxen, M., & Wilson, M. (1989) Families: What makes them work (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications. Olson, D.H., Portner, J., & Bell, R.Q. (1982). FACES II: Family adaptability and cohesiveness evaluation scales. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota.

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125 Olson, D.H., Portner, J., & Lavee, Y. (1985). FACES III. St. Paul, MN: Family Social Science, University of Minnesota Olson, D.H., Russell, C.S., & Sprenkle, D.H. (1983). Circumplex Model of marital and family systems : VI Theoretical update. Family Process, 22, 69-83. Olson, D.H., Sprenkle, O.H., & Russell, C.S. (1979). Circumplex model of marital and family systems. Family Process, 18, 3-28. Pagelow, M.D. (1977a) Battered women: A new perspective. Berkley, CA: University of California. Pagelow, M.D. (1977b) Blaming the victim: Parallels in crimes acrainst women: Rape and battering. Berkley, CA: University of California. Pagelow, M.D. (1980). Double victimization of battered women: Victimized by spouses and the legal system. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, San Fransisco, CA. Pagelow, M.D. (1981). Woman-battering: Victims and their experiences Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. Palmer, S. (1962) The psychology of murder. New York, NY: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. Parker, B. & Schumacher, D.N. (1977) The battered wife syndrome and violence in the nuclear family of origin. American Journal of Public Health, 67, 760-761. Parnas, R. (1967) The police respone to domestic disturbance. Wisconsin Law Review, 914, 914-960. Perosa, L.M. & Perosa, S.L. (1990) The use of a bipolar format for FACES III: A reconsideration. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 16, 187-199. Piaget, J. (1932) The moral judgement of the child. New York, NY: The Free Press. Pleck, E. (1979) Wife beating in nineteenth-century America. Victimology: An International Journal, 4(1), 6074 Pratt, D.M. & Hansen, J.C. (1987) A test of the curvilinear hypothesis with FACES II and FACES III. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 13, 387-392.

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126 Prescott, S. & Letko, C. (1977). Battered women: A social psychological perspective, pp. 72-96. In M. Roy (ed.) Battered women: A psychosocioloqical study of domestic violence New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Pressman, B. (1989) Wife abused couples: The need for comprehensive theoretical perspectives and integrated treatment models. Journal of Femininst Family Therapy, 1, 23-43. Radloff L.S. & Rae, D.S. (1979) Susceptibility and precipitating factors in depression: Sex differences and similarities. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 88, 174-181. Radloff, L.S. Sl Rae, D.S. (1981). Components of the sex differences in depression. Research in Community Mental Health, 2, 111-137. Rodick, J.D., Henggler, S.W., & Hanson, C.L. (1986). An evaluation of Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (FACES) and the Circumplex Model. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 14, 77-87. Rosenbaum, A. & O'Leary, K.D. (1981) Marital violence: Characteristics of abusive couples. Journal of Consultincr and Clinical Psychology, 49, 63-71. Rounsaville, B.J. (1978) Theories of marital violence: Evidence from a study of battered women. Victimology, 3, 11-31. Rouse, L.P. (1984a) Conflict tactics used by men in marital disputes Paper presented at the Second National Conference for Family Violence Researchers. University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. Rouse, L.P. (1984b). Models, self esteem, and locus of control as factors contributingto spouse abuse. Victimology, 9(1), 130-144. Roy, M. (1977) Battered women: A psychosociological study of domestic violence. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Schvandeveldt J.D. (1973) Mormon adolescents: Likes and dislikes toward parents and home. Adolescents, 8, 171178 Seligman, M.E.P. (1975). Helplessness: On depression, development, and death. San Fransisco: W.H. Freeman.

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127 Shainess, N. (1977) Psychological aspects of wife battering, (pp. 111-119) In M. Roy (ed.) Battered women: A psychosocial studyof domestic violence. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Snell, J.E., Rosenwald, R.J., & Robey. (1964). The wife beater's wife: A study of family interaction. Archives of General Psychiatry, 11, 107-113. Snyder, D.K., & Fruchtman, L.A. (1981). Differential patterns of wife abuse: A data-based typology. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 49, 878-885. Snyder, D.K., & Sheer, N.S. (1981). Predicting disposition following brief residence at a shelter for women. American Journal of Community Psychology, 9, 559-566. Sorrells, J.M. (1977). Kids who kill. Crime and Delinquency, 23_^12-23 Sprenkle, D. & Olson, D.H. (1978) Circumplex model of marital systems IV: Empirical study of clinic and nonclinic couples. Journal of Marriage and Family Counseling, 4, 59-74. Stacey, W.A. & Shupe, A. (1983) The family secret: Domestic violence in America. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. Star, B. (1978) Comparing battered and non-battered women. Victimology, 3, 32-44. Stark, R. & McEvoy, J. (1970) Middle-class violence. Psychology Today, 30-31. Steele, B.F. (1978). The child abuser, (pp 285-300) In I. Kutash et al (eds.) Violence: Perspectives on murder and aggression. San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Steele, B.F. & Pollack C.B. (1974) A psychiatric study of parents who abuse infants and small children. In R.E. Heifer & C.H. Kempe (Eds.). The battered child. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Stein, H.F. (1978). The Slovak-American swaddling ethos: Homeostat for family dynamics and cultural continuity. Family Process, 18, 31-45. Stone, M. (1976) When God was a woman. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace, & Jovanovich.

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128 Strasburg, P. A. (1978) Violent delinquents. New York, NY: Monarch. Strauss, M.A. (1976) Sexual inequality, cultural norms, and wife beating. Victimology, 1, 54-69. Strauss, M.A. (1978) Wife beating: How common and why? Victimology: An International Journal, 2, 443-458. Strauss, M.A., Gelles, R.J., & Steinmetz, S.K. (1980). Behind closed doors: Violence in the American family. New York, NY: Anchor Press. Strauss, M.A. Gelles, R.J., & Steinmetz, S.K. (1981). Behind closed doors: Violence in the American family. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. Truninger, E. (1971). Marital violence: The legal solutions. Hastincfs Law Review, 23, 259-276. Walker, L.E (1978a) Battered women and learned helplessness. Victimolocrv: An International Journal, 2(34) 525-534. Walker, L.E. (1978b). Treatment alternatives for battered women. In J.R. Chapman & M. Gates (Eds.), The victimization of women. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications Walker, L.E. (1979) The battered woman. New York: Harper & Row. Walker, L.E. (1980) Battered women. In A. Brodsky & R. Hare-Mustin (Eds.), Women and psychotherapy. New York: The Guilford Press. Walker, L.E. (1981) Battered women: Sex roles and clinical issues. Professional Psychology, 12, 81-91. Walker, L.E. (1984a). Women and mental health policy. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. Walker, L.E. (1984b) The battered woman syndrome New York: Springer Publishing. Warner, C.G. (1982) Holistic assessment: Evaluation of behavioral and physical needs. In C.G. Warner & G.R. Braen (Eds.), Management of the physically and emotionally abused: Emergency assessment, intervention, and counseling-. Norwalk, CT : Appleton, Century, & Crofts.

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129 Weitzman, J. & Dreen, K. (1982) Wife-beating: A view of the marital dyad. Social Casework, 63, 5. Welsh, R.S. (1976). Severe parental punishment and delinquency: A developmental theory. Journal of Child Clinical Psychology, 35, 17-21. Wittmer, J. (1973) Amish homogeneity of parental behavior characteristics. Family Process, 14, 285-308. Wolfgang, M.E. (1958). Patterns of criminal homicide. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jodi Samuels Shir was born in Hollywood, Florida, on October 25, 1969. After graduating from Hollywood Hills High School in 1987, she attended the University of Florida and Tel -Aviv University in Israel. Jodi received the degree of Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida, with high honors in her major field of psychology and a minor in Jewish studies in 1991. During that same year, she entered the doctoral program in counseling psychology at the University of Florida and subsequently completed her master's degree in 1993. Jodi was married on December 24, 1994, to Guy Shir and will be completing her internship at Nova Southeastern University. 130

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I certify that I have read this study and that it my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholalrly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. -yHarry"" Grater, Chairman Professor of Psychology I certify that I have read this study and that it is my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholalrly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, of Doctor Martin Heesacker Associate Professor of Psychology I certify that I have read this study and that it is my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope^and quality,,-)as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy:/' /v X / JL Bob Ziller Professor'df Psychology I certify that I have read this study and that it is my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholalrly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Bargad / Warren Bargad Associate Professor of English I certify that I have read this study and that it is my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of /Doctocr--of philosophy.* K. /.6
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This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Psychology xn the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. August 19 96 -— -, ^-1 Dean, Graduate School


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