Self-Control, Risky Sexual Behavior and Partner Battering

Bu Huang, University of Washington
Sharon Baker, University of Washington
Blair Beadnell, University of Washington
Mary Gilmore, University of Washington
Diane Morrison, University of Washington

Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1990) self-control theory is a general theory of crime and analogous behavior. In the past 10 years, there are numerous operationalization of the self-control measurements and generally it has been found that self-control is negatively predicting problem behavior, including crime, delinquency, drunk driving and substance use. This paper will extend the range of problem behaviors examined to include two interpersonal behaviors with significant potential for harm to an individual and to his romantic partner: risky sexual behaviors and domestic violence. We recruited a random sample of 500 urban heterosexual adult men, between the age of 18-40, from a metropolitan area in the Northwest United States. Audio CASI technology was used to ask men about their ecent sexual practice and recent experience with domestic violence. Men were also administered the 24 item Grasmick scale for measuring self-control. We hypothesize that men with lower levels of self-control will be more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and to be abusive toward their female partners.

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Updated 05/20/2006