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J Fam Violence. 2007 Feb;22(2):101-111.

Observed Initiation and Reciprocity of Physical Aggression in Young, At-Risk Couples.

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Oregon Social Learning Center.


The present study examined sex differences in initiation of physical aggression as observed during discussion tasks and in the likelihood of a similar response from the partner. In addition, patterns for men and women in the prevalence of aggression initiation and partner reciprocation across 4 time points spanning approximately 9 years from late adolescence through the mid-20s are examined, as well as overall associations with reported aggression and injuries. Findings indicated that the young women were more likely than the men to initiate physical aggression at late adolescence, but by the mid-20s in early adulthood there were no significant sex differences in initiation rates. The average rates of reciprocation across the 4 time points appeared to be similar for men and women. Women and men appeared more likely to report injuries if the couples observed physical aggression involved mutual aggression in their interactions.

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