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Violence Vict. 2001 Apr;16(2):115-26.

Attitudinal acceptance of intimate partner violence among U.S. adults.

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National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724, USA.


Attitudinal acceptance of intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important correlate of violent behavior. This study examined acceptance of IPV using data collected from a nationally representative telephone survey of 5,238 adults. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to test for associations between sociodemographic characteristics, exposure to violence, question order, and acceptance of hitting a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend under specific circumstances. Depending on the circumstance examined, acceptance of IPV was significantly higher among participants who were male and younger than 35; were non-White; were divorced, separated, or had never married; had not completed high school; had a low household income; or were victims of violence within the past 12 months. Participants were more accepting of women hitting men; they also were consistently more likely to report tolerance of IPV if they were asked first about women hitting men rather than men hitting women. Reports of IPV tolerance need to be interpreted within the context of the survey. Efforts to change IPV attitudes can be tailored to specific IPV circumstances and subgroups, and these efforts should emphasize that the use of physical violence is unacceptable to both genders.

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