Partner controlling behaviors appear to be associated with relationship violence

Apr 04, 2011

Having a significant other who exhibits controlling behaviors appears to be associated with increased physical and sexual relationship violence, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. However, young women experiencing these behaviors are more hesitant to answer questions about relationship violence.

"High rates of relationship violence have been reported among adolescents and young adults," writes Marina Catallozzi, M.D., of the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, and colleagues as background information in the article. To examine the correlation between controlling behaviors and relationship violence, the authors conducted an anonymous audio computer-assisted self-interview with female patients in a reproductive health center. A total of 603 women between the ages of 15 and 24 years participated.

In the population examined, 411 women (68 percent) reported experiencing one or more episodes of controlling behavior; 38.1 percent reported experiencing only controlling behavior; 11.4 percent and 10 percent reported receiving controlling behaviors plus physical or sexual victimization respectively; and 8.6 percent reported all forms of relationship violence.

The authors found that being a younger adolescent (between the ages of 15 and 18), Hispanic ethnicity, childhood exposure to domestic violence, having reported one or more pregnancies, recent physical or sexual victimization, and being uncomfortable asking for condom use were all significantly associated with increased episodes of controlling behaviors by a partner.

Of women reporting controlling behaviors, approximately one in ten reported receiving all forms of victimization – sexual and physical aggression and controlling behaviors by a partner; however the proportion of women reporting controlling behaviors varied across the types of behaviors exhibited. For example, 22 women (3.7 percent) reported that their partner expected them to ask his permission before seeking health care, and 38 women (6.3 percent) reported that their partner tried to restrict their contact with family. Conversely, 149 women (24.7 percent) reported that their partner ignored or treated them indifferently and 160 women (26.5 percent) reported that their partner tried to keep them from seeing friends.

"These data demonstrate the high frequency of controlling behaviors in the relationships of adolescents and young adults and support a nuanced approach to universal screening of controlling behaviors," the authors conclude. "In addition, this awareness of the high rates of controlling behavior and the overlap with relationship violence, particularly for young people, may affect how they view health care provider-based screening and how honestly they might answer screening questions. An awareness that young may not be comfortable disclosing information honestly should prompt carefully crafted, repeated, and novel screening to improve identification, referral and treatment."

Explore further: CDC charges Johns Hopkins to lead development of Ebola training module

More information: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165[4]:313-319.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Relationship violence appears common among college students

Jul 07, 2008

Violence between partners, friends and acquaintances appears prevalent both during and before college, according to results of a survey of students at three urban college campuses published in the July issue of Archives of ...

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

9 hours ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

10 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

10 hours ago

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Au-Pu
not rated yet Apr 04, 2011
You need now to look at the other side of this coin.
As women age they begin to assume the control in a relationship.
Many become obsessive in the degree of control they exercise, they become true "control freaks".
What you have looked at is the dominance of high testosterone in young relationships.
What you need to also look at is how as this high testosterone period wanes the female need for security gradually assumes control of the relationship and over time becomes dominant.