Family Violence: Prevention and Treatment


Edited by: Robert L. Hampton

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  • Issues in Children's and Families' Lives

    An Annual Book Series

    Senior Series Editor

    Thomas P. Gullotta, Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut


    Gerald R.Adams, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
    Bruce A.Ryan, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
    Robert L.Hampton, University of Maryland, College Park
    Roger P.Weissberg, University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois

    Drawing upon the resources of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, one of this nation's leading family service agencies, Issues in Children's and Families' Lives is designed to focus attention on the pressing social problems facing children and their families today. Each volume in this series will analyze, integrate, and critique the clinical and research literature on children and their families as it relates to a particular theme. Believing that integrated multidisciplinary approaches offer greater opportunities for program success, volume contributors will reflect the research and clinical knowledge base of the many different disciplines that are committed to enhancing the physical, social, and emotional health of children and their families. Intended for graduate and professional audiences, chapters will be written by scholars and practitioners who will encourage readers to apply their practice skills and intellect to reducing the suffering of children and their families in the society in which those families live and work.

    Volume 1:Family Violence: Prevention and Treatment (2nd Edition)
    Robert L.Hampton
    CONSULTANTS: Vincent Senatore, Child and Family Agency, Connecticut; Ann Quinn, Connecticut Department of Children, Youth, and Family Services, Connecticut
    Volume 2:The Family-School Connection
    Bruce A.Ryan and Gerald R.Adams
    Volume 3:Adolescent Dysfunctional Behavior
    Gary M.Blau and Thomas P.Gullotta
    Volume 4:Preventing Violence in America
    Robert L.Hampton, PamelaJenkins, and Thomas P.Gullotta
    Volume 5:Primary Prevention Practices
    AUTHOR: Martin Bloom
    Volume 6:Primary Prevention Works
    George W.Albee and Thomas P.Gullotta
    Volume 7:Children and Youth: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
    Herbert J.Walberg, OlgaReyes, and Roger P.Weissberg
    Volume 8:Healthy Children 2010: Enhancing Children's Wellness
    Roger P.Weissberg, Thomas P.Gullotta, Robert L.Hampton, Bruce A.Ryan, and Gerald R.Adams
    Volume 9:Healthy Children 2010: Establishing Preventive Services
    Roger P.Weissberg, Thomas P.Gullotta, Robert L.Hampton, Bruce A.Ryan, and Gerald R.Adams
    Volume 10:Substance Abuse, Family Violence & Child Welfare: Bridging Perspectives
    Robert L.Hampton, VincentSenatore, and Thomas P.Gullotta


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    For his leadership, advocacy, scholarship, friendship, mentorship, and tireless efforts to improve the quality of life for children and families, this work is dedicated to • Thomas P. Gullotta • and all the lives he has touched.


    There are many forms of family and intimate violence in the United States. Some capture our attention because of the sheer magnitude of the event, as in multiple murders or murder suicides, because of the celebrity status of either the victim or perpetrator, or because they are exceptionally horrific in other respects. Despite more than three decades of research, acknowledged public concern, advocacy, and intervention services, interpersonal violence remains one of our most pressing national social problems. Recent studies have indicated that the incidence of intimate violence in the United States remains extremely high and shows no indication of a significant decrease.

    The first edition of this book was also the first volume in the Issues in Children's and Families' Lives book series. Like the others in the series, this volume is devoted to issues affecting children and their families. When we decided to devote the first volume to family violence, it was because we recognized that violence remains one of the major factors undermining the quality of family life, especially for women and children. Although we can acknowledge some progress in the areas of social policy and clinical practice, the number of individuals and families affected by violence is still at an alarming level.

    The chapters in this volume testify to the ongoing expansion of knowledge in the field of family and intimate violence. They attempt to summarize some of the best of current scholarship conducted by family violence researchers. The contributors are all leaders in the field and reflect a variety of disciplines and different approaches. Several chapters address issues of prevention, treatment, and intervention services. The diverse perspectives brought to bear on the subject by professionals from a range of disciplines add to the richness of this volume.

    Richard J. Gelles provides an overview of research, theory, and several controversies in the study of family violence. He also provides insightful comments about steps that could prevent family and intimate violence. Joel S. Milner and Julie L. Crouch build on the more general theoretical overview presented in Chapter 1 by reviewing research on child physical abuse theory and research. They also discuss the physical sequelae across the life span of child maltreatment. Brenda Jones Harden and Sally Koblinsky explore an often ignored subject, children who have been exposed to community violence, family violence, or both. They conclude their chapter about this often ignored subject by examining interventions for violence-exposed children. Theodore J. Stein addresses legal perspectives on violence against children. In the final chapter devoted exclusively to child maltreatment, Donna Harrington and Howard Dubowitz challenge us to answer the question, “Can we prevent child maltreatment?” They cite both promising work in this field and some social policies that potentially could allow many children to remain at high risk for maltreatment.

    People of color are often ignored in mainstream scholarship and practice in the field of family violence. Jo-Ellen Asbury explores how ethnic or cultural groups affect cultural expressions, how those expressions may affect the nature of violence in the family, and the potential effectiveness of intervention strategies across cultural groups. Although we are encouraged by the growth of scholarship in this field, there are still many unanswered questions.

    The next three chapters, address partner violence. The chapter by Robert L. Hampton, Pamela Jenkins, and Maria Vandergriff-Avery focuses on physical and sexual violence in marriage. The authors include a discussion of institutional responses to violence and some potential implications of recent legislation. Christopher M. Murphy and Michele Cascardi expand the discussion by exploring psychological violence between spouses and in dating relationships. Although most researchers acknowledge that psychological abuse often accompanies physical and sexual violence, they often do not focus on psychological abuse as a separate area of inquiry. One of the main points raised by Larry W. Bennett and Oliver J. Williams is that for many years, the field has permitted the batterer to remain in relative obscurity. In the past decade, there has been increased interest in research on men who abuse their female partners and ex-partners. Much of this work focuses on batterer invention programs.

    Three areas of growing concern are also addressed in this volume; abuse of the elderly, substance abuse, and treatment programs. Linner Ward Griffin provides an overview of elder maltreatment, addressing both the growth in this segment of our population and its implications for social policy and practice. Many studies report that many victims of domestic violence live in families in which alcohol and others drugs are abused. H. David Banks and Suzanne M. Randolph remind us that the association between substance abuse and family abuse is complex, nonlinear, and influenced by a variety of other social factors. Finally, Gary M. Blau and Dorian Long explore assessment and treatment. They conclude that much remains to be learned about the relationship between risk factors and family violence. Better understanding of this relationship could possibly affect treatment outcomes.

    I hope that students will again find this volume an essential introduction to a complex set of issues related to family violence research, treatment, and interventions. I also hope that experienced practitioners will find the volume helpful in updating their knowledge base and expanding their repertoire of approaches to intimate violence.

    Robert L.HamptonThe University of Maryland


    Many people contributed to this volume. The authors of the 12 outstanding chapters are the key contributors. These individuals come from different academic disciplines; however, they share a commitment to research and practice in the field of family violence. This book would not have been possible without them.

    I want to thank Tom Gullotta, chief executive officer of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut and series editor for Issues in Children's and Families' Lives. Moreover, I want to thank him for encouraging me to do a second edition of Family Violence and for encouraging all of us to contribute to this series. I would like to thank Joan Kim and Maria Vandergriff Avery, who assisted me throughout this project and assisted with the painstaking details that are associated with an edited volume. Next, I want to thank Sondra Alexis, Sara Dillier, Marianne Eismann, Diane Gaboury, Tawanna Gaines, Mary Lou Gayda, Meagan Noyes, Noreen O'Hare, and Mary Wesley for their assistance with this project. I also want to thank my colleagues in the Department of Family Studies and in the Division of Undergraduate Studies who understand the role of scholar/teacher/dean in higher education. Finally, I want to thank our colleagues at Sage Publications, C. Deborah Laughton and Eileen Carr, who have always made our work easier.

  • About the Contributors

    Jo-Ellen Asbury, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology at Bethany College. A social-personality psychologist by training (University of Pittsburgh), her teaching interests include courses on race, gender, and the history of psychology. Her research focuses primarily on African Americans who have experienced domestic violence but also includes qualitative methodologies.

    H. David Banks, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor at Trinity College and the University of Maryland. He teaches health education at Trinity and human sexuality at the University of Maryland. He also serves as the director of research and evaluation at Volunteers of America's national office in Alexandria, Virginia. He earned his Ph.D. in human development from the University of Maryland, and he holds master's degrees in social work and public health from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill respectively.

    Larry W. Bennett, Ph.D., is currently Assistant Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining that faculty, he was a member of the faculty at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and worked for 15 years in Illinois mental health and family service agencies. He cofounded the Turning Point Men's Program in Woodstock, Illinois, in 1985. His research and publications focus on the relationship between substance abuse and domestic violence, the structure and effectiveness of community-based batterers intervention programs, and the link between various forms of men's violence, such as sexual harassment, dating violence, and adult partner abuse.

    Gary M. Blau (Ph.D., Clinical Psychology) is currently the Bureau Chief, Office of Quality Management for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. He also holds a clinical faculty appointment at the Yale Child Study Center. In his capacity as Bureau Chief, he provides leadership and oversight to Connecticut's service delivery system for children and adolescents. He is an active member of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Director's Division of Children, Youth, and Families, and he has been a member of that group's Executive Committee. He currently serves as the chairperson (July 1998–July 2000).

    Michele Cascardi, Ph.D., is co-founder of the Dating Violence Prevention Project, Inc., in Philadelphia. Its mission is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate school- and community-based programs to prevent adolescent dating violence. She is also a project director, at Women Against Abuse, of a community-based initiative to prevent teen dating violence among urban adolescents. Other interests include the longitudinal study of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in battered women and their treatment.

    Julie L. Crouch, Ph.D., is a research associate at the Medical University of South Carolina and is the coordinator of child and family services with the National Crime Victim Research and Treatment Center, a specialty clinic that serves victims of crime and other traumatic events. Her research interests include the study of victim effects associated with child physical and sexual abuse and the description of factors that might buffer the effects of child maltreatment.

    Howard Dubowitz is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he directs the Child Protection Program. He is involved in clinical work, research, teaching, and child advocacy. His clinical work includes interdisciplinary consultation on cases of suspected abuse and neglect, and he is also active in general pediatrics. His current research activities are in the study of child neglect—its antecedents and outcomes—and in the area of preventing neglect. He chairs the Committee on Child Maltreatment of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Maryland Chapter.

    Richard J. Gelles is the Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence, School of Social Work, University of Pennsylvania. He is the author or coauthor of 23 books and more than 100 articles and chapters on family violence. He received his A.B. degree from Bates College (1968), an M.A. in sociology from the University of Rochester (1971), and a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of New Hampshire (1973). He edited the journal Teaching Sociology from 1973 to 1981 and received the American Sociological Association, Section on Undergraduate Education, Outstanding Contributions to Teaching Award in 1979.

    Linner Ward Griffin is Associate Professor and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice Studies at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina. In addition, she serves as the associate director for educational programs of the ECU Center on Aging. She has an extensive background in social work practice with individuals and families in geriatric, health, and mental health settings. Her academic research has yielded numerous publications in the areas of elder abuse/elder maltreatment, adult protective services, and organ transplantation.

    Robert L. Hampton received his A.B. degree from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He is Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, Dean for Undergraduate Studies, and Professor of Family Studies and Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a Gimbel Mentoring Scholar. He has published extensively in the field of family violence. He is one of the founders of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community. His research interests include interspousal violence, family abuse, male violence, community violence, stress and social support, and institutional responses to violence.

    Brenda Jones Harden is Assistant Professor in the Institute for Child Study/Department of Human Development at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked in the child welfare field since 1978 as a clinician, program planner, and administrator. She is currently conducting research on children exposed to community violence, maltreated and foster children, and children exposed to substances in utero. As part of each of these research initiatives, she has implemented and evaluated programs to address the needs of these populations of children and their families.

    Donna Harrington, Ph.D., is Developmental Psychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, where she teaches courses in research, statistics, and human behavior. Her research interests are in the areas of child maltreatment and developmental outcomes for children in high risk environments.

    Pamela Jenkins is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Grants and Development for the Women's Center at the University of New Orleans. She has combined an active research agenda with social action in her community. Her research interests include a long-term study of incarcerated battered women, class issues in shelter life, and the links between domestic and community violence. In New Orleans, she is working on building coalitions among academics, activists, and service providers who define child and family safety from a community-based framework.

    Sally A. Koblinsky is Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author or co-author of more than 50 articles and chapters that focus on parenting and child development issues, including community violence, homeless families, adolescent pregnancy prevention, and school-age child care. She has received funding from the federal government and private foundations for more than 25 community-based research and intervention projects involving at-risk families. She is currently co-director of a U.S. Department of Education grant examining the role of families and Head Start in promoting positive developmental outcomes for preschoolers in violent neighborhoods.

    Dorian Long is a psychiatric social worker at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. In this position, she assists the director of mental health in the development of plans to meet the mental health needs of Connecticut's children, provides case consultation and assessment, and serves as a resource regarding the Connecticut Access Medicaid Managed Care program. Following her undergraduate training at Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, she earned her M.S.W. at Fordham University, New York. Her interests include family-centered practice, child welfare, family violence, and health care access.

    Joel S. Milner, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, Distinguished Research Professor, and Director of the Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault at Northern Illinois University. He has received funding for family violence and sexual assault research from federal agencies such as the National Institute of Mental Health, National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Department of Defense. He is the author or coauthor of more than 130 book chapters and articles, most of which are in the area of family violence. His current research interests include the description and prediction of intrafamilial child sexual abuse and the testing of a social information-processing model of child physical abuse.

    Christopher M. Murphy is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and batterers' services coordinator at the Domestic Violence Center of Howard County, Maryland. His current research is on the efficacy of psychosocial interventions for domestic abusers, domestic violence among alcoholics, and the development of aggression in dating relationships.

    Suzanne M. Randolph is Associate Professor of Family Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her B.S. in psychology from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and her M.S. and Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. She is principal investigator for a Head Start community violence prevention study funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute of Early Childhood Learning and Development; and co-principal investigator for a study of ecological correlates of development in African American children in poverty funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Theodore J. Stein, Ph.D., J.D., received his doctoral degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his law degree from Albany Law School. He is Professor of Social Welfare at the School of Social Welfare, State University of New York at Albany. He has published books and articles on a number of topics relating to child welfare, including permanency planning, decision making, and the law.

    Maria Vandergriff-Avery is a doctoral student in family studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her master's degree in family studies from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research interests include marital power, domestic violence, and gender role issues.

    Oliver J. Williams, Ph.D., is currently Associate Professor of Social Work, University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the faculty at Minnesota, he was on the faculties of Illinois State University and West Virginia University. He has been a practitioner in the field of domestic violence for over 20 years, including work with child welfare, delinquency, and battered women's agencies. He has created and conducted counseling groups for partner abuse treatment programs. As an academic, his research and publications have centered on creating effective service delivery strategies that will reduce the violent behavior of African American men who batter.

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