Context and Motives for Women's and Men's Use of Violence in Intimate Relationships

Lorraine Halinka Malcoe, University of New Mexico
Kirk D. Midkiff, University of New Mexico
Kelly Damphousse, University of Oklahoma

The Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), one of the most widely used instruments to measure intimate partner violence (IPV), has received much criticism. One such critique is that it fails to properly contextualize men's and women's use of violence in intimate relationships, primarily because it fails to address issues of power and control, as well as possible gender differences in motives for IPV. This paper compares the contexts and motives for men's and women's use of violence as reported by a sample of female arrestees in Oklahoma. This population has a high rate of self-reported male-to-female (63.0% for any past year physical (IPV) and female-to-male (51.9%) IPV. In-person interviews were conducted with eligible women booked in the Oklahoma City/County Jail over 14 consecutive days during the 4th quarter of 2000 and each of the first three quarters of 2001. Violence measures included the CTS2, a multi-item power-control scale, and a multi-item measure of motives for IPV. Preliminary analyses suggest substantial gender differences in both the contexts and motives for IPV.

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Updated 05/20/2006