Domestic Violence

Chapter 2:  Research Methodology, Assessment, and Theories of Family Violence

Lecture Outline

I.         Studying Family Violence
a.       Numerous academic and professional fields are involved in family violence
      i.      Highly involved: criminology, social work, sociology, psychology, public health, and interdisciplinary studies
      ii.      Connected: family studies/sciences, political science, victimology, biobehavioral/genetics, neuroscience, and women’s studies
      iii.      Engaged: areas of law and medicine, especially nursing, pediatrics, obstetrics, and psychiatry
      iv.      Academic researchers who studied family violence have spent years in graduate school learning the procedures they use in their work

b.     Advocates
      i.      Are forceful groups with a specific value-centered and political agenda
      ii.      They have spent years “on the firing line” trying to awaken the public, legislators, and law enforcement personnel to the plight of victims

c.      Divergent Groups
      i.      Challenges
        1.      Accommodating opposing points of view between experts within different academic disciplines and among researchers, clinicians, and victims’ advocates
        2.      Formulating specific discipline-related definitions and theoretical frameworks, applying differing research methodologies, and developing specialized interventions
        3.      Conflict has exceeded customary levels and has created atmosphere of distrust which is detrimental to progress in stopping the violence (e.g., measurement disagreements)
        4.      Conflict intensifies when parties must compete for limited resources
d.     Research Fields
      i.      Sociology:
1.      1st to study family violence
        2.      Survey large numbers of people about their experiences and use the data to examine relationships between these experiences and variables such as age, gender, and socioeconomic class
        3.      Smaller samples to...