Establishing a relationship between behavior and cognition: Violence against women and children within the family

download file

Journal of Family Violence, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp. 383-395

The goal of this study was to answer two questions: 1) to what extent are cognitions (mental conceptions) regarding violence against women and children within the family associated with violent actions against them? 2) to what extent does an adult with a narrow conception of violence against women also have a narrow conception of violence against children? A total of 62 parents, all born in Quebec, completed a series of assessment instruments designed to measure their conceptions of physical and psychological violence and their use of violent behavior in the home. None of the study participants had a history of severe violence towards women or children. Respondents recognized physical aggression more easily than psychological aggression, rated it more severely, and used it more often against their children than their spouses. Cognitions of violence against women and parental violence against children appeared to be strongly associated. Results suggest that the conception of violence toward women is associated with violence toward children.

Additional information available for these authors
Canadian CW research
Journal article