This chapter reviews research on family violence. Once viewed as rare and confined to a few mentally ill offenders, family violence has rapidly captured public and social scientific attention. The review examines the “discovery” of family violence as a social and sociological problem. Among the major problems that confront students of family violence are defining, both nominally and operationally, child abuse, wife abuse, and violence. Access to cases, sampling, and measurement of violence are additional issues that are reviewed. Research on family violence is described with a specific focus on the extent of the various forms of family violence and the factors associated with violence in the home. Seven theoretical models that have been developed to analyze the specific issue of family violence are briefly reviewed. The chapter concludes by covering new issues in the field of family violence, including research on the responses of victims of wife abuse, studies of the consequences of child abuse, and evaluation studies of prevention and treatment programs.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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