Not Just Bringing Home the Bacon, But Deciding How It Is Spent: Labor-Force Participation and Risk of Intimate Partner Violence and Financial Abuse

Catherine Kaukinen, The Bowling Green State University

This paper explores the relationship between employment and two forms of intimate partner abuse, physical violence and financial abuse. Research by Macmillan and Gartner (1999) has examined the relationship between men's and women's participation in the labor force and risk of spousal violence against women by treating employment as a symbolic, rather than simply a socioeconomic resource. They find that the effect of a woman's employment on her risk of spousal violence is conditioned by the employment status of her current male partner. They suggest that to some extent, these effects reflect efforts by men to coercively control their female partners. In this paper we examine the relationship between financial abuse and physical violence in intimate partner relationships and explore the direct and conditional effects of men's and women's employment status on these two distinct types of abuse. Using victimization data from the recently released, 1999 Canadian General Social Survey, Personal Risk (N=25 876), we examine the effects of gender, labor-force participation and relationship status (spousal versus cohabitating relationships) on financial abuse and physical violence.

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Updated 05/20/2006