Title

Veteran Status and Marital Aggression: Does Military Service Make a Difference?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Publication Source

Journal of Family Violence

Volume

22

Issue

4

Inclusive pages

197-209

ISBN/ISSN

08857482

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that rates of domestic violence are higher among couples where at least one person is on active duty. What is unclear is whether or not the propensity to engage in domestic violence remains after an individual has left the military and entered into veteran status. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate whether or not veteran status will increase an individual’s tendency to engage in acts of domestic violence. Through the use of cultural spillover theory, the argument can be made that the effects of military resocialization will persist even after separation from active duty service, and that veteran status will contribute to domestic violence in a marriage. Analysis of the National Survey of Families and Households Wave I dataset allowed for a comparison of the rates of domestic violence among veterans and non-veterans to see if veterans are more likely to engage in domestic violence, net of combat exposure, relationship stressors and other statistical controls. The data reveal that male veterans are in fact less likely to engage in an episode of domestic violence as compared to civilians with no previous military experience; however, once other factors are accounted for, this relationship becomes nonsignificant.

Keywords

Military; Veterans; Domestic Violence; Intimate Violence

Disciplines

Sociology

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