Physical Aggression between Spouses

A Social Learning Theory Perspective
  • K. Daniel O’Leary

Abstract

Before a theoretical analysis of spousal aggression is presented, it is imperative that one first understands the theory that supports the analysis. There are numerous theoretical accounts of aggression as reflected in Geen and Donnerstein’s (1983) book, Aggression: Theoretical and Empirical Reviews. In addition, Gelles and Straus (1979) inventoried 15 theories that they felt were relevant to the understanding of violence between family members. The theories ranged from psychopathology or intrapsychic models to macrosociological models. Further, Gelles and Straus (1979) attempted to provide an integrated theoretical account of violence between family members. However, as Gelles (1983) later noted, the attempt to integrate resulted in a model that was “long on heuristic value and equally long and complex to examine,” (p. 156). Consequently, Gelles moved from a model that attempted to integrate a plethora of concepts to a “more middle-range theory and set of theoretical propositions.” He turned to exchange theory as a means of explaining family violence, a model that has been quite valuable in both sociological and social psychological research.

Keywords

Social Learning Physical Aggression Family Violence Parental Violence Social Learning Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Daniel O’Leary
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentState University of New YorkStony BrookUSA

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