Factors associated with co-occurrence of spousal and parental violence: Quebec population study

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Journal of Family Violence, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp. 661-674

The objective of this study was to determine the differences between 1) families in which there is spousal violence: 2) those in which there is parental violence; and 3) those in which there is both spousal and parental violence. It also sought to document the factors associated with the three groups and develop an explanatory model for the type of violence in relation to the characteristics of the family. Data were analyzed from a population sample of 3,148 mothers, taken from the 2004 Quebec survey on family violence.

Results showed that the group in which there was both spousal and parental violence had a more pervasive history of violence in their childhoods, a lower level of education, rated their spousal relationship as less harmonious, perceived their economic situation as worse and their isolation as greater than those in the other two groups. The mothers in the group in which there was both spousal and parental violence reported the most parenting stress. At the same time, though, there was no difference between the three groups in terms of income.

There were major differences between the groups with regard to beliefs and conceptions of parental violence. For example, the mothers in the parental violence group were most likely to justify parental violence by their child's inappropriate behaviour.

Results highlight the social vulnerability of families in which multiple forms of violence co-occur and indicate that a number of co-existing variables are involved in family violence in a complex way, refuting the idea that family violence is related only to the characteristics of the perpetrator and the victim.

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