The purpose of this research study was to examine gender differences with regard to domestic violence and if having been a victim of domestic violence or witnessing it at a young age has any influence on the probability of becoming a perpetrator of domestic violence or a victim of it later in life. Previous research has narrowly identified males as aggressors of domestic violence and has failed to identify females as a domestic violence perpetrator outside of the realm of self-defense (Kernsmith, 2006). The study seeks to discover if having been a female victim of abuse or a witness thereof has any influence on the propensity to behave violently in familial or dating relationships.
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The majority of research exploring the intergenerational cycle of violence does not control for possible mediating variables, such as substance abuse or marital stress. However, some risk factors for perpetration have emerged in the literature (Kernsmith, 2006, p. 164).
Examples of Deductive and Inductive Logic
The results of the study include examples of both deductive and inductive logic. An example of deductive logic is that both genders that experienced abuse in previous familial or dating relationships are more apt to resort to violence in response to threats before someone who has not experienced any abuse or witnessed any violence during childhood (Kernsmith, 2006).
An example of inductive logic is children who do experience violence in the home are more likely to rationalize the abuse and therefore find it excusable. Because of the association between child abuse and domestic violence, it is hard to establish how these two types of violence influences the possibility of future physical violence (Kernsmith, 2006). Also common is the belief that children who experience violence in the home are more likely to interpret that behavior as normal and continue that pattern of behavior as adults. Although most understand, by young adulthood, that physical violence is not normal behavior nor is it acceptable in most social circles (Kernsmith, 2006).
The study used a quantitative research design by using questionnaires to obtain the needed information. The questionnaire format allowed the researcher to obtain information in a relatively anonymous fashion and thus making the information more valid. Acknowledging that their private information would be used strictly for research purposes, participants voluntarily provided answers for the study. Quantitative research methods permit a researcher to obtain samples from a large variety of demographics in a short amount of time (Hagan, 2010). A quantitative research method allows the researcher to assign a numerical value to the collected data and easily convert the data into statistics.
The participant population varied in age from 19 to 70 (SD = 9.73) (Kernsmith, 2006). Most participants had at least high school diploma or had received a GED. The median education level was “some college, but no degree” and the respondent’s partners had slightly less education (Kernsmith, 2006). The sample income ranged from no income to $750,000, the median income was $37,000 (Kernsmith, 2006). However, this data requires thorough analysis as some of the data was omitted (36.8%) (Kernsmith, 2006).
According to Kernsmith (2006), “The sample was racially diverse. Nearly half of the sample (46.6%) identified as Chicano/Latino, 33% as Caucasian, 9.7% as African American/Black, 5.8% as biracial, 3.9% Asian American/Pacific Islander, and 1% Native American” (p. 166). The broad-based sampling ensured the study was as culturally diverse as possible because...