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Keywords:

  • domestic violence;
  • family violence;
  • resource theory;
  • Russian family spousal abuse;
  • wife abuse

Until recently, Soviet data restrictions led to limited knowledge about wife abuse in Russia. This study adds to emerging research on Russian domestic violence by testing hypotheses derived from resource theory on the effects on wife abuse of husband's absolute resources versus spouses’ relative resources. Analysis of data from the 1996 National Survey of Russian Marriages (N= 664) shows support only for the influence of husband's absolute socioeconomic resources (education, employment status, and occupational rank). As in U.S. studies, intergenerational patterns of wife abuse and husband's alcohol use have notable effects on wife abuse. The findings suggest that although resource theory may partly explain wife abuse in urban Russia, spouses’ relative resources and husband's gender traditionalism currently have little influence.