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Violence Vict. 1986 Summer;1(2):101-24.

An analysis of risk markers in husband to wife violence: the current state of knowledge.

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  • 1Family Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire, Durham.


The present review involves the evaluation of 97 potential risk markers of husband to wife violence. Using 52 case-comparison studies as the source of data, markers were divided into four categories: consistent risk, inconsistent risk, consistent nonrisk, and risk markers with insufficient data. Based on this classification, it appears that a number of widely held hypotheses about husband to wife violence have little empirical support. Only witnessing violence in the wife's family of origin was consistently associated with being victimized by violence. Furthermore, it seems that characteristics associated with either the husband-offender or the couple have greater utility for assessing the risk of husband to wife violence than characteristics of the wife-victim. Findings are discussed in terms of the methodological and theoretical implications of current research on this form of adult domestic violence.

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