In the first two studies, the researchers asked independent samples of men and women to report on men's retention behaviors and men's violence against their partners. In the third study, they asked husbands and their wives to report on men's retention behaviors and violence against wives. The highest-ranking correlations between single acts and violence were not consistent across the three studies. But acts such as "dropped by unexpectedly to see what my partner was doing" and "called to make sure my partner was where she said she would be" were the overall third and fifth highest predictors of violence. These acts fall into Vigilance, which the couples reported as the highest-ranking tactic leading to violence and the only tactic across all three studies that uniquely predicts violence. "At a practical level, results of these studies can potentially be used to inform women and men, friends and relatives, of danger signs-- the specific acts and tactics of mate retention that portend the possibility of future violence in relationships in order to prevent it before it has been enacted," the authors conclude.
This study is published in the December issue of Personal Relationships. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Relationships is an international, interdisciplinary journal that promotes scholarship in the field of personal relationships throughout a broad range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, communication studies, anthropology, family studies, child development, and gerontology. It is published on behalf of the International Association for Relationship Research.
Todd K. Shackelford is Associate Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University. He has published over 120 articles, is on the Editorial Boards of 15 journals, and is Associate Editor of the journal Personality and Individual Differences. Dr. Shackelford is available for media questions and interviews.