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Applying the Theory of Reasoned Action to Domestic Violence Reporting Behavior: The Role of Sex and Victimization

Abstract

Domestic violence is a serious social issue that affects one in every four relationships. Interventions for victims and abusers are contingent upon reporting of the violence, but many cases are never reported. The theory of reasoned action may offer a model for understanding reporting behavior in adolescents and young adults. In a sample of 891 adolescents and young adults, social norms and attitudes were predictive of reporting intentions and subsequently, reporting behavior. For the purposes of this study, reporting behavior was defined as reporting the domestic violence to any individual not directly involved, which could include law enforcement personnel or other individuals who may provide assistance. Understanding how attitudes and social norms affect reporting behavior could be helpful for agencies serving individuals affected by domestic violence.

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Correspondence to Tracey N. Sulak.

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Sulak, T.N., Saxon, T.F. & Fearon, D. Applying the Theory of Reasoned Action to Domestic Violence Reporting Behavior: The Role of Sex and Victimization. J Fam Viol 29, 165–173 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-013-9569-y

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Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Abuse
  • Help-seeking
  • Disclosure
  • Beliefs