Spousal Abuse Essay

1727 words - 7 pages

The study, "Dimensions of Self-Concept as Predictors of Men Who Assault Their Female Partners", D. Mark Ragg, deals with the issue of spousal abuse. Using self-concept literature, this study attempts to provide promise for understanding personality attributes that can help explain why some men assault their partners and others do not. I chose this article because, as I explained in my panel presentation, a good friend of mine was beaten badly, and no one saw it coming. I have since then volunteered in many shelters educating myself as well as other women on the dangers and warning signs of spousal and partner abuse.The independent variable(s) for this study is the role of self-concept. There are two constructs that help to explain aggressive reactions in relationships. The first construct is negative self-concept, which is associated with relationship role performance. The second construct is an unstable self-conception. This study uses negative self-concept and unstable self-concept to predict known wife-assaulters from their non-assaultive peers.The dependent variable(s) in this study are thee aggressive behavior and battering done by the male partner. Among the demographic variables, there were two measures of violence. The first measure of violence focused on violence in the respondent's family of origin. Three types of violence were explored. These include adult to adult, adult to child, and child to child violence. The scaling for each question included the response options of never, almost never, sometimes, often, and very often. The questionnaire also asked information about the frequency of yelling, symbolically violent acts (implied violence through property destruction or hitting inanimate objects), pushing/grabbing, and hitting.IntroductionBatterers are found to have negative self-concepts and low self-esteem (Goldstein and Rosenbaum, 1994). Batterers are also found to maintain unrealistically high expectations of themselves which they are often unable to achieve (Bernard and Bernard, 1984). The non-achievement of ideals can then reinforce negative self-conceptions which create feelings that one is never quite good enough. It is then speculated that batterers have a tendency to control others to decrease feelings of insecurity.In considering the role of self-conception, two aspects appear to be important, the value and maintenance of the self-conception. The value refers to whether or not a person experiences himself as having positive or negative worth. The maintenance of one's self-conception refers to how feelings of positive or negative worth are applied across different situations. Positive self-concept provides people with internalized good feelings when negative events occur (Aronson, 1995). People with negative beliefs about themselves are less able to this balance. People who build their self-conceptions on negative traits tend to feel inadequate and humiliated by negative events.Self-concept maintenance refers to a person's...

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