Domestic violence, personal control, and gender

Debra Umberson, Kristin Anderson, Jennifer Glick, Adam Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Research on perpetrators of domestic violence suggests that acts of violence may result from feelings of low personal control. Research on victims suggests that domestic violence may undermine feelings of personal control. Using a national sample, we consider how domestic violence is related to personal control. We find that individuals who have initiated violence against a partner do not differ from individuals who have nonviolent relationships in feelings of personal control. However, experiencing violence at the hands of a partner has significant adverse effects on a sense of personal control for women, but not for men. This suggests that violence, even when both the man and woman participate, is more detrimental to the self-perceptions and well-being of women than of men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-452
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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