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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Intimate partner violence against women and the social environment: Testing social disorganization and feminist theories

Victoria Frye, MPH, Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies, New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue, Room 556A, New York, NY 10029, 212-822-7291, vaf5@columbia.edu

Containing the occurrence of intimate partner violence (IPV) is a critical public health and social goal. The control of most forms of interpersonal violence falls to both formal and informal agents of social control. Our understanding of the informal social control of IPV is underdeveloped. Social disorganization theory maintains that population-level changes disrupt social cohesion, which gives rise to socially co-constructed values and mutually agreed-upon normative behaviors. When social cohesion lessens, informal social control over deviant behavior is reduced, increasing the community’s average level of deviant, or non-normative, behavior. Empirical tests of social disorganization theory appear to assume a shared or invariant value system at the community level, which may be an appropriate assumption as applied to behaviors such as general crime and violence. As applied to IPV, feminist theory suggests that it is unsafe to assume that communities or individuals uniformly consider IPV to be the appropriate target of informal social control, the mechanism by which deviant or non-normative behaviors are contained. This paper reports the results of a study designed to identify factors derived from both theories that predict the informal social control of IPV against women and general crime and violence. Results revealed that attitudes unsupportive of IPV against women were related to the informal social control of such violence, whereas perceived collective efficacy was not. The implications of these results for both social disorganization and feminist theories and for developing response and prevention programs are discussed.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Community Response

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Intimate Partner Violence: Effective Interventions

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA